It's amazing how small the world is becoming. A friend of a friend sends you an email to which you respond on a lark, and suddenly you've won 2nd prize in the Shuswap Association of Writer's Worst Opening Line competition. The wha???? You might well ask. The Shuswap Writer's Association is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the interior BC (or British Columbia for those not in the know). They sponsor the Shuswap Lake Writer's Festival and, my personal fave, the Winter Reading Series in Salmon Arm, BC. It's my favorite because it's in a place called Salmon Arm.
First prize winner of the worst opening line contest wins free trip to the Shuswap Lake Writer's Festival. There's a bad joke here about 2nd prize winning 2 free trips to Shuswap Lake (or a trip to Salmon Arm perhaps?), but alas, as 2nd prize winner I win only a book and the thanks of a grateful nation. I did warn them when I entered that I was not Canadian, but apparently that was not a requsite. The contest rules asked for a wretched opening line for a novel which included the words: salmon, longjohns and shovel.
Without further ado, my entry:
"I know you just got home from the salmon packing factory, Zebediah," remarked Pearline, "but what are you doing outside in your long-johns with Marcel's shovel, and where is Marcel?"
If you'd like to read more, including the sentence that was wretched enough to beat this entry, go to the Shuswap association website.