L. M. Bryski
7-7-7... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
September 7, 2015
Well, it happened. One of those minding my own business days. Not going any place, not doing anything, maybe kill a few adverbs in my manuscript before enjoying the sun.
Then I checked my Twitter feed. *Notification from @daveskoster.*
Dave Koster - writer of all things witchy, Alaskan and much much more - nominated me for the 7-7-7 challenge. Whaaaaa?
At first I thought Dave had an internet gambling problem and was trying to touch all his Twitter followers for some cash. An obvious assumption considering the triple lucky 7. Still, he seems more reliable than that. There must be something more to the tweet.
Turns out that 7-7-7 is a Twitter writer's challenge. The poop scoop is that you go to the 7th page of your work in progress (WIP in Twitter form), count down 7 sentences, then publish the next 7 sentences in a blog form. Final step is to nominate 7 other writers to do the same.
It's a chain letter. I always break these things and I'm still here. This one had no consequences to force my hand.
No 'Suffer bad luck for 666 days if you break the chain.' No 'Your ovaries will fall out next time you sneeze.' This chain letter had no consequences whatsoever. None.
This one was also the only one I've ever been interested in. No way I was going to be the missing link. This was awesome! Thanks, Dave! (And Stacy, too!)
I'm in midst of editing my big manu-festo so it was easy to go and pick out 7 lines. I must admit, I changed the line spacing about 6 times to see if I could get a particularly juicy morsel to pop up for sharing. However, Microsoft Word was on to me and kept throwing the same little monologue in my face.
So... here goes...
From Blood Chill
Sonny winced at the unspoken warning beneath Detective Harling’s praise. Good job. Cop codewords for ‘I better not find any mistakes.’ The only thing worse was ‘pretty good job.’ That meant she already suspected something. If a civilian made a mistake, it was a learning experience; if a cop did, it was unforgivable. That’s why cops hid their mistakes until they managed to fix them… if they could.
This paragraph came about after reading a tweet about the words 'good job'.
(Kudos to @YoungDrunkPunk, a witty TV show and Twitter feed, for revitalizing this quote.)
"There are no two words in the english language more harmful than good job."
-Terence Fletcher, Whiplash (2014)
I realized in my own work as a teacher and physician that I often used 'Good Job' as praise for new learners who were just coming up the ranks of medicine. It could mean so many things. In my case, it could be taken as a mild condescension (unintentional except in the rare case). Needless to say, I only use it for special teaching occasions now. I still use "Awesome" a lot, though. I'll tackle controlling that one next.
Anyways, back to my 7 lines... they may stay in the work, they may not. I'm a capricious little writer and an even more mercurial critic of my own work. You'll just have to read the final product to see.
Oh, and as for the 7 nominees... so hard. So many great writers on my Twitter feed. I've always said I may be a writer but I'm a reader first. If you don't get nominated, don't worry. Someone will nominate you.
If you do get nominated by me for 7-7-7, don't forget to send me $20. I've got a few slot machines I've been itching to try.