Saturday, August 14, 2010

Special Awards...Part Deux!

In addition to the judges picking their favs, we as hosts decided to get down to show our love for some special fics too.

SorceressCirce's Pick: Peaches by hyacinthgirl18

I've tried to start this review countless times, and there are just no words. For those of you who know me, you know what an unbelievable occurrence this is.

The reason there are no words is that this story grips me somehow. It sucks me in with the playful, antagonistic banter between Bella and Edward and makes me really like Bella while thinking Edward is a bit of a douche...and then that's turned around completely, and I really want to smack Bella when I begin to see that while, yes, Edward is a bit of a douche, there's a lot more to him that she's just not seeing even if she feels it.

See? I'm rambling and incoherent. Gah.

One of the things I really love about this story is that the ridiculous insecurities of Bella are understated. I can absolutely see a teenager feeling this way about herself. Hyacinthgirl18 does an amazing job of having Bella be completely oblivious to her own feelings and those of Edward while somehow still getting the clues across to the reader, and the result is a sometimes charming, sometimes frustrating, always engaging tale that made me literally call out, "No!" at least once.

I wanted to cry at the ending, which is where the title for this award comes from, but even though I want more for them, the story feels completely wrapped up - albeit in a depressing way that leaves me sobbing and pulling my hair out. Okay, maybe that's a little melodramatic, but the fact remains - I want more for the two of them because their connection is palpable, but as a reader, I can appreciate the way this fic wraps up completely.

That said, I'm begging for more. Please, hyacinthgirl18?

Yogagal's Pick: A Night in Vienna by Zigster

I'll be honest. I'm a little biased over this fic, because it used a prompt I submitted. *ducks and hides*

However! I have to say that while I did submit this bunny, I was completely blown away with the direction Zigster took it in. Zigster took the bunny and made it totally her own, fleshing it out to bring us an Irish Edward, a cranky Jasper and a night (in Vienna) to remember.

Zigs brings the life of a band on the road to the reader in full detail. Reading the fic, I felt like I was squished in the back of a smelly van with the boys, headed to the next European destination on their tour. We meet the boys at one of their stops, and it seems like Jasper is having some problems with Edward. My wussperv warning started to go off, because I wasn't sure how Zigs would be able to make it all happy boy loving by the end of the o/s.

Using alternating POVs, we get to see a night in Vienna unfold from both Edward and Jasper's eyes. Zigs infuses her storytelling with rich detail and colorful imagery so vivid, you'll feel like you're traipsing through the streets of Vienna as well. I won't ruin it and spill the deets of what exactly happened over the course of a night (and morning!), but believe me when I tell you, if you're a sucker for sweetness and swooning, you *won't* be disappointed. I'm already chomping at the bit in hopes that Zigs will continue this a bit more so we can catch up with these boys further down the road!

Il-Bel-Mondo's Pick: Bring It On: All or Nothing by Lexiecullen17

Who doesn't love those cheerleading stories? I mean whether it's in real life and a mom has just hired a hit man because her daughter didn't make the squad. Or a cheesy, stupidly funny movie with more sexual innuendos than construction worker cat calls. And lets not forget the usage of hot, flexible guys in tight uniforms! Lexiecullen17 does a beautiful job of meshing all of that together in her entry- Bring It On: All or Nothing.

This paragraph from her story shows the talent she has for letting you truly get to know her characters. Bella's internal dialogue is wicked snarky and soooo reminds me of the evil cheer girls from my high school. They're full of venom and hate one second and back to peppy and fake laughs and smiles the next.

Ugh. Kate and my mom lead a sing a long, while I concentrate on reworking formations and how the hell we're going to get a front base for our final basket toss. We're missing a girl this week, and it's put a serious crimp in my plans. Not that I fault Tia for not being here. She's the maid of honor in her sister's wedding; there was no getting around it. Okay, that's a lie. I'm totally holding it against her. Who plans a wedding the same week as Nationals anyway? I know who—a no good, never could be good enough to make the squad bitch, who wants to fuck us over, that's who. But that can't stop us. This week is do or die. For me, at least.

Cranking up the volume on my ipod, I hum We Are The Champions as I scribble down our altered plans. We're going to need serious rehearsal time before our first performance tomorrow if we want to come out on top.

Which we do. Obviously.

...... I absolutely adore her Edward and his Jacobian need to be shirtless off and on throughout this tale. To sum up his wonderful abs in board shorts he has his ever present smile

Edward pauses and smiles. I want to take a snapshot of that smile and get off to it later.

And in the shower after our afternoon practice, I do. Twice.
Hah yup she went there and when they met again it was full on hot smexin in the sand of the beach.

So besides the fact that they're there for a national competition, I think Bella got the individual trophy for the Best Use of Edwards Spirit Stick.

Congrats to all the winners of the voting rounds and the special awards! We also want to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to submit a bunny, request a bunny and/or submitted an entry - you all rock!

If you submitted a bunny to the contest and it got written up as an entry, now would be the time to "reveal" yourself to the author, if you so choose.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all of our phenomenal judges: naelany, Ahizelm, Echoesoftwilight, jessypt, MsKathy & araeo. They did a fab job and we love them for it!! xo

Also...keep those bunny ears perked, because you never know when round 2 of the Plot Bunny Contest will hop along...

Yogagal, SorceressCirce & Il-Bel-Mondo

Special Awards Part One!

In addition to the Open Vote and Judges' Scoring Round, we here at the Plot Bunny Contest wanted to honor some fics that stood out to us in special ways. Both the hosts and the judges thought long and hard (TWSS) before each of them zeroed in on that one fic that spoke to them.

First up are the judges' picks. Check out what these esteemed ladies had to say...

Naelany's Pick: Strings by TKegl

You know how sometimes you get put into a situation that you just can't see being any good at all? And then something happens that makes it all worthwhile? Yeah, that'd be Bella right now. And the 'something' that happens to help change her mind about things, that would be Jasper. But y'all knew that already from the prompt, right?

I wish I could tell you why I loved this story so much, but doing so would be revealing too much, and then what point would there be in you reading?

Trust me, though; it's awesome. And Jasper? Besides being his fuckhot delicious self, he totally made me swoon. Several times. For several reasons. You'll understand what I mean once you've read it. Oh, panty-change, aisle 2 please! ;-)

MsKathy's Pick: The Other Side of Night by yogacat

I love this story so much. Each of the individual characters here has a glimmer of characteristics that transferred from the original series. I love that Bella is lost. Not just in a small way, but in one hundred small ways, each of which most people can relate to. She's uncomfortable in her own life, awkward and not quite fitting in anywhere she tries.

The author made excellent use of so many secondary characters, as well, woven seamlessly into the story.

I don't mind a damn bit that this one-shot doesn't include wrapping and a pretty bow, because SO MUCH is resolved. It's like a great book - the chapter has ended, but the story has only just begun. I felt like the story was well-suited to a one-shot, as well, even though there are things unresolved. I would not mind at all if the author continued this, but I also felt like it stands alone perfectly.

I really wanted to give "Peaches" by hyacinthgirl18 the "Kick You in the Cooter" award, but I could only give one. It was a VERY tough choice, though. There were so many great entries. Every author should be proud of their submission; that selecting just one was such a tough choice is a sign of just what a great job they've all done.

Ahizelm's Pick: The New Normal by faite-comme-moi

Well, let’s start with the actual plot bunny for my Judge’s Pick, shall we?

Jake/Edward. Rated M. Jake imprints on Edward but since Edward isn't human, the imprint doesn't bind him to Jacob. So, Jacob has to make Edward fall in love with him the old fashioned way. With his charm and sparkling personality. ;) Angsty, UST, eventual HEA.

Sigh. Pardon me as I sing a line from a song for you:

You made me love you. I didn’t wanna do it.

I know, you’re all thinking, “Uh, Ang has officially lost her mind,” but I promise there’s a reason I’m including that here.

I am, shall we say, rather vocal about the fact that I don’t generally ship vamps and wolves in an AU setting. My very long list of reasons why can be most easily summed up by simply saying that I don’t feel that Meyer’s canon allows it to reasonably work. And yes, I know using reason in a world where vampires and werewolves exist is maybe a little batty, but that’s a conversation for another time.

So, back on topic.

“The New Normal” by faite-comme-moi was assigned randomly to me, and I won’t lie: when I saw the pairing, I knew I’d be a hard sell. I don’t have a lot of hard limits regarding fic, but I’m also not completely closed-minded, so I carried on.

Anyway. I begin to read and, instantly, I have to admit that the voice assigned to Jake is spot on, in my opinion. Here’s a snippet of the introduction:

I'm proud as all hell to be Native American. My people have been on this land, the exact fucking dirt where our house sits, for hundreds of years. Nobody gets to say that but us. Plus, my people invented the word 'brave'. Our men are fierce, cocky, bold and 100% men.

We pwned macho.

Oh yeah…some of our men also burst into fur when we got too pissed. And by some, I mean me. And it seemed like everything pissed me off nowadays.

So, all in all, I considered my life pretty normal. Whatever the hell normal was supposed to be.

Then 'normal' went all to shit.

I read that, and I thought, “Hmm. I might have something here.”

I keep reading.

Faite-comme-moi develops a version of the Quileute/Cullen situation that I find extremely plausible, all the while keeping Jake quietly (and sometimes not-so-quietly) snarky. He explains their background and then explains the Pack is meeting up with the Cullens to discuss some things.

And then, cue Edward.

Jake’s initial thoughts on Edward are a mix of quite a few emotions, which is fitting. Here’s a piece of his initial thoughts on Edward:

This vampire looked like any other of his kind: pasty white skin, artificially buff body, schmancy clothes, his body language broadcasting arrogance. There was one important difference: this one was gorgeous. The longer I stared, the more I noticed. His movements were fluid and graceful, reminding me of the natural beauty I experienced every day in the forest. He had high cheekbones that gave his face a regal peace, broad shoulders tapered to a trim waist and slim hips.

Just as I had begun to question what the fuck I was doing noticing shit like that, he raised his eyes to meet Sam's. My Adam's apple bobbed heavily as I struggled to stifle the gasp developing low in my throat.

Edward was beautiful.

From there, faite-comme-moi weaves a tale of slowly burgeoning, old fashioned romance. The boys go on runs together, and day by day grow closer and closer. She deals with every single thing on my list of reasons why I don’t normally ship Vamp/Wolf pairings in an AU environment. Literally every. single. one. of them.

By the end of “The New Normal,” I was anxious with Jake, hanging on Edward’s every word, and hoping he would come around. And when he did (as is prescribed in the Plot Bunny), it was so satisfying for me, so absolutely fantastic. I won’t ruin the details for you - it’s incredibly worth reading, and Jake and Edward’s baby steps are believable and giggles-and-grin inducing. There is only one other Plot Bunny Contest entry that evoked an actual emotional response from me comparable to the way I reacted to “The New Normal,” and you can read about that fic in Naelany’s Pick (for the record, if I’d have written that one up, the award would have been “The One That Reminded Me of Why I Started Reading Non-Canon Pairings in the First Place”).

Go. Read “The New Normal,” and leave faite-comme-moi a ton of love. The story is worthy of praise on every level and may very well have opened up a new set of fics for me to read.

Jessypt's Pick: The New Normal by faite-comme-moi

I loved this story because the plot bunny was a stretch. It forced the writer to think outside the normal parameters to come up with a way to make this pairing work. I loved watching Jake struggle to deal with his feelings and how he pursued Edward. Their runs, their quiet talks in the woods, and the moments where they were bare - physically and emotionally - before each other made me feel all warm and tingly inside. I wanted this to keep going so I could see where their relationship would go! Please continue this and tell me who you are!! Great job!

EchoesofTwilight's Pick:
Strings by TKegl

Anyone who knows me knows that I am really anti-non-canon, unless it's slash. Even then, there are only a few pairings I enjoy. My friends know Jella pairings squick me out, seriously. So, when it came time to judge this one, I started to read it through a gap in my fingers.

And then, very quickly, my hand dropped to my keyboard and I just read and enjoyed. I loved this story. The Bella is identifiably Bella without being irritating, and this Jasper is utterly swoon-worthy. Other characters (Emmett, Rosalie, Alice, Angela) are incorporated really well, and in particular I loved that Alice was there as Bella's friend, but her romance with Angela meant I wasn't thinking "Jasper and Alice should be together!" the whole time I was reading.

This whole story is sweet, sexy, funny, and by the end my heart was breaking at the idea of these two not ending up together. Jasper's line as he stops the car completely killed me in the very best of ways, putting the biggest smile on my face and giving me heart palpitations.

I think I need to tear up my canon-only card for good, now. It was looking a little frayed since I started reading slash anyway. ;)

araeo's Pick: Drink Me by KCerena

This entry has it all, including a couple things I could have done without. But in spite of the squick-out moments, I kept coming back to this story. I figured that if I could still like it, even after the Incident that Shall Not be Named, this one has to be a winner. I am an animal lover - I bawl at ASPCA commercials. There was animal-related violence (aside from the Cullens' diet) that was pretty disturbing to me, and almost knocked this one out of the running. But I gave it a shot, again and again, and you should, too.

"Drink Me" by KCerena manages to deliver an interesting take on a challenging little bunny, and makes it fit within canon rules! There are times that you won't believe what you're reading - and it's not always a good thing - but it fits. You're laughing one minute, cringing the next, and then laughing even harder than before. She also turned Charlie into the smoking caterpillar, complete with mustache. If that's not complete win, I don't know what is.

All in all, it's a great little side shot into the canon world, and perfect for a fast, entertaining read.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Open Vote & Judge's Pick Winners!!

We've had such a fabulous time here at the Plot Bunny Contest, and we're sad to see it end...But! We're incredibly excited and happy to announce the winners!

We ended up having 37 wonderful entries. Before we announce the winners, we would be remiss if we didn't thank all of you for taking the time to read and vote for your favorite entries! We also have to extend a HUGE thank you to our fantabulous judges for taking the time to be a vital part of this contest. Hugs and kisses to you all!

And now...drum roll please!

Voting was very close in both the Open Vote and the Judge's Selection Round, but eventually it all came down to one fic. Yes. One fic swept both the top spot in the Open Vote and the Judge's Selection Round.

We are pleased to announce that Strings, by TKegl is our GRAND PRIZE WINNER!

TKegl took a straightforward, rather simple bunny and produced a fic that grabbed not only our judges' attention, but many others as well. We encountered many people who read the fic and were stunned at how much it resonated with them. Why were people so shocked? This winning fic features a non-canon couple (as dictated by the plot bunny) yet manages to create a relationship so real and heart warming that even if you are a die hard Edward/Bella shipper, you can't seem to stop reading.

1st and 2nd place for Open Vote were incredibly close, and we're happy to announce that Gotta Have You by Risbee earned a good chunk of votes. Risbee took her plot bunny and ran with it, creating an amusing fic where Edward starts off with Rosalie, but ends up with Bella. How she gets there is a hilarious journey that you should read for yourself!

3rd place in Open Vote goes to one of the few slash fics that ended up in this contest. A Night in Vienna by Zigster tells the tale of two boys in a band and how they came to be...together. Some miscommunication, a little bit of meddling, and a long night in Vienna all come together to create their story.

Congratulations to TKegl, Risbee & Zigster!!

Our esteemed panel of judges took the time to read through all of the picks and, after finally narrowing it down to a select few, voted on their favorites. Their top pick is shared with the Open Vote, with TKegl's Strings winning first place.

One fic that the judges kept mentioning again and again was Yogacat's The Other Side of Night. Yogacat takes us into the everyday life of Bella, a night shift waitress, who's humdrum daily life is seemingly ordinary. Toss in a regular customer, some incredible UST, and an ending that leaves you wanting more, and you have the recipe for a winning fic. This fic won the #2 spot in our judges' hearts for good reason!

One of the few entries inspired by a picture plot bunny, AStarDanced77's Memories of Us was another judges' favorite, earning 3rd place. This angsty fic with an interesting, realistic plot resonated with many of the judges, causing them to claim this a favorite and give it 3rd place in the Judges' Selection Round!

Congrats to Tkegl, Yogacat & AStarDanced77 for winning the top three spots in the Judge's Selection Round!

Come back tomorrow to see which fics were chosen for special awards from both hosts and judges!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vote For Your Favorite Bunny!

It's voting time! Hop on your computer, read through all the entries and then vote for the two fics that you dig the most!

Voting will run until 8/12. Then, we will announce both the winners of the Open Vote and the Judge's Scoring Round on 8/14. The following day, 8/15, we'll announce the winners of the special prizes including host picks and judge's special picks.