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By ๐‘๐Œ ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐œ๐ค๐ญ๐จ๐งPublished 3 months ago โ€ข Updated 3 months ago โ€ข 9 min read
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Welcome to Write Club, my friends!

March Madness wraps up tonight with the NCAA Tournament Final. So too does the Write Club Madness of March come to a Finale. All good things must end, but fret not. April AI is under way. (And from what I have observed, our brand of Madness goes far beyond the boundaries of the calendar! ๐Ÿ˜œ)

Without further ado, let us explore the Madness of March submissions, and there was a plenty of MADNESS to go around!

I didnโ€™t think you could possibly top the 33 stories submitted for Februaryโ€™s โ€œMonster Under Your Bedโ€ Challenge. You blew that away with 55! Fan-freaking-tastic, my friends! You are all ROCK STARS!

The talent here is undeniable. Just WOW!

I mentioned this last month, and it is every bit as applicable here: These should be published together as a collection. Well done!

This has been a terribly difficult process selecting winners. I will give you ten that stood out for me, but that leaves out some absolutely tremendous pieces, and they all deserve recognition!

(Note: Stripe only allows me so many transactions before locking me out, so Tips are coming, but expect some MADDENING delays!)

๐Ÿ† John Cox got the madness started with his horrifying Sci-Fi tale with a clever twist, โ€œThe Silent Screamโ€.

๐Ÿ† Bonnie Bowerman gave us a nightmarish poem about a mind teetering on the fragile abyss of madness in her vivid tale, โ€œMy Madness Is a Room in My Mindโ€.

๐Ÿ† Matthew Frommโ€™s โ€œWeโ€™ve Reached Ten Thousand Feetโ€ has a very Groundhog Day feel to it, so sit back, return your tray table to itโ€™s upright position, and enjoy the ride!

๐Ÿ† Catsidheโ€™s haunting and lyrical poem, โ€œWhen I Sleepโ€ (The voices come) brings us an unsettling madness. Youโ€™ve been warned!

๐Ÿ† Lamar Wiggins gave us another Instant Top Story with โ€œPhantom Limbโ€. That anger within each of us fuels a powerful brand of madness, and all of us play right into this infectious evil! The idea of โ€˜angerโ€™ as a โ€˜phantom limbโ€™ to our mind is such a dark concept. WOW!

๐Ÿ† Mack D. Ames delves into the dark regions of vigilante justice madness with his profoundly disturbing story, โ€œHead and Shoulders Aboveโ€. These creeps may have had it coming to them, but this is the stuff nightmares are made from! This one is Poe-meets-Dahmer type of madness!

๐Ÿ† Dharrsheenaโ€™s โ€œDisturbiaโ€ is, well, disturbing โ€” to say the least. Be careful who you entrust your children to! Then again, what is the worst that could happen? Read this to find out!

๐Ÿ† Paul Stewart ventured out to the edge of that cliff of insanity and spoke what many of us were silently thinking: There is creativity in madness, and there is โ€œMadness in Creativityโ€. How far do we descend into that dark madness for our art, and how long do we stay?

๐Ÿ† D.K. Shepardโ€™s โ€œInstitutionalizedโ€ took a much different turn than I had prepared myself for! Brilliant! This poem is brimming with profound symbolism! Take a moment today to thank a TEACHER!

๐Ÿ† Celia in Underland always has a special ability to entrance her audience with her carefully selected words, pacing and imagery. โ€œNamelessโ€ is another gem of a story.

Here are more amazing Submissions:

๐Ÿ… While we are on the subject of disturbing . . . check out this masterpiece from Dharrsheena, โ€œPhantasmagoriaโ€, a haunting tale about Postpartum Psychosis.

๐Ÿ… The next entry from Dharrsheena, โ€œThe Russian Sleep Experimentโ€ details how lack of sleep affects the mind. Get your sleep, my friends! This is haunting!

๐Ÿ… Have you ever been truly mad at the world, even angry at God? Anna gives us that very situation with her Haiku โ€œDissatisfiedโ€.

๐Ÿ… And here is a Trilogy of Haikus from Anna delving deeper into this question of madness in โ€œMad not Sadโ€.

๐Ÿ… How about madness on the job? Anna gives us that, as well, with โ€œHow I Lost my Jobโ€.

๐Ÿ… Be careful who you cross. This lesson is distinctly conveyed in Christy Munsonโ€™s โ€œThe Butcherโ€™s Daughterโ€.

๐Ÿ… Like a storm brewing on the horizon, so madness stirs. Here, Anna presents โ€œApproaching Chaosโ€.

๐Ÿ… Cathy Holmes has cleverly designed this Acrostic Poem, โ€œMadnessโ€, with a hidden message. This is CRAZY good!

๐Ÿ… And in true March Madness fashion, Cathy gives us our first story about Sports. This one, however, is not about Hoops, but rather takes to the ice. โ€œBlood Pressure and the Good Old Hockey Gameโ€.

๐Ÿ… Denise E. Lindquist shares a powerful poem about a breakthrough and the power of resiliency in โ€œMadness, Crazy, Insane?โ€

๐Ÿ… Have you ever had a dream that seemed real? Dharrsheena gives us another fascinating story in โ€œThe Infinity Expressโ€, an endless loop of mind-bending dreams.

๐Ÿ… River Joy paints a pretty frightening picture of the care (or lack thereof) provided for someone going through crisis in her horrifying story, โ€œThe Visitโ€.

๐Ÿ… We got another fantastic Acrostic poem, this time from Donna Fox, โ€œThis is Madnessโ€. This TRULY is MADNESS!

๐Ÿ… Mike Singleton - Mikeydred gives us an all-too-familiar tale of how the masses are often easily deceived. โ€œThe Dancerโ€ is a cautionary tale, for sure.

๐Ÿ… โ€œGood Boyโ€ is another fascinating tale from the brilliant mind of Christy Munson. Things may not be quite what they seem here . . .

๐Ÿ… Dharrsheena gives us a real-life glimpse at an artistโ€™s descent into schizophrenia with this biography of Louis Wain, complete with his artistic depictions of cats.

๐Ÿ… David E. Perry gives us โ€œFor Whom the Bells Rangโ€. We accompany a low-level employee on his elevator ride to visit the boss, and, like Danteโ€™s journey through the realms of hell, each floor represents another level of madness. Step aboard and enjoy the ride! Going up? Ding!

๐Ÿ… Donna Fox (HKB) presents an all-too-familiar madness, โ€œThe Madness of Vocalโ€! We writers share a special brand of madness, and this story explores that quality brilliantly! Have I mentioned that we are all crazy?

๐Ÿ… Dharrsheena gives us another deeply disturbing true-crime entry with โ€œLisa Montgomery Cut Open a Pregnant Lady's Belly and Stole Her Babyโ€. This unthinkable crime is profoundly troubling, but the abuse the killer endured is also heartbreaking. Her home life growing up was like some evil experiment in how to create a monster!

๐Ÿ… Leslie Writes has written a very relatable poem in โ€œA Murder of Intrusive Thoughtsโ€. Thoughts and words unable to be caged, refusing to be tamed lead us into chaos. They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be placated with drugs or therapy. Once unleashed upon your mind, you must do the bidding of this winged madness!

๐Ÿ… Randy Bakerโ€™s profound and hard-hitting poem โ€œAt What Costโ€ explores the true wages of war. War is uniquely human and distinctly madness. โ€œAxis and allies, bedfellows of depravity.โ€ Well said!

๐Ÿ… Rachel Deeming convincingly declares, โ€œIโ€™m Not Madโ€. Well, mostly convincing. Something has happened, and someone is going to be mad. But sheโ€™s not mad! At least not yet! Free your mind of any preconceived thoughts, and read this one out loud.

๐Ÿ… Grogu (Lรกszlรณ) takes us back to his own childhood with a true story about the โ€œMadness of Candyโ€! That aching desire children have to satisfy a sweet tooth can fuel them to make some pretty risky decisions. Lรกszlรณ shares one of those experiences with us about his sugar-fueled courage and the lengths he was willing to go to for some free cotton candy!

๐Ÿ… Have you ever had a story idea pop into your head when you were least prepared for it, such as while you were in bed or in a dream, only to have it just as quickly disappear? Donna Fox (HKB) shares this all-too-relatable phenomenon with us in her story about the madness of โ€œWriterโ€™s Feverโ€. And yep, this fever might be contagious!

๐Ÿ… Donna Fox (HKB) shares her recent โ€œDescent into Madnessโ€ as she went full Dr. Frankenpoem in a tribute piece to Dr. Pepper! Donnaโ€™s masterful storytelling is matched by her brutal honesty and relatability! Donna sums it up perfectly with this line, โ€œIโ€™m an author and Iโ€™m not normal!โ€ Nailed it!

๐Ÿ… Get ready for some intensity with Annaโ€™s โ€œThe Curseโ€. How did we get here . . . and where the heck are we?! Take a deep breath and dive in, but this one is not for the faint of heart!

๐Ÿ… And here is the mind-numbing, heart-thumping sequel, โ€œThe Curse, Part2โ€! Forget what you think you know, because this nightmarish world is not quite what it seems!

๐Ÿ… Dana Crandell asks the question that has surfaced in each of our minds: โ€œWhere are They?โ€ That Anxiety we all experience as we wait for to see how our works will be perceived is truly madness!

๐Ÿ… Sometime, there is a disconnect. A barrier in communication! Ever been there? Heather Hubler presents just such an instance with her all-too-real-but-comical dialogue piece, โ€œMisinterpretingโ€. This one has Heatherโ€™s unique voice ingrained in it, for sure.

๐Ÿ… Dharrsheena tips us over the edge with her Inverse Poem, โ€œKalopsiaโ€. Kalopsia is defined as โ€œThe delusion of things appearing more beautiful than they are.โ€ If you suffer from โ€œkalopsiaโ€, you might ask yourself, are you just a hopeless romantic, or are you delusional (or both)? Be sure to read this one both front to back and back to front.

๐Ÿ… Heather Hublerโ€™s Acrostic Poem, โ€œFrenzyโ€ is a perfect companion piece to Dharrsheenaโ€™s โ€œKalopsiaโ€ poem above. Sometimes, coming to terms with our own poor choices haunts us in a way that pushes us beyond the bounds of madness!

๐Ÿ… Novel Allen presents โ€œHellโ€, in the form of a journey through the dark forest (Hell), drawing inspiration from Danteโ€™s โ€œThe Divine Comedyโ€. This is an incredibly intense adaptation!

๐Ÿ… Rebekah Conard wrote an instant Top Story with her vulnerable piece, โ€œMy Skin Hurtsโ€. This is absolutely relatable. I suspect there are many of us on here with obsessive traits like this. โ€œStop picking!โ€

๐Ÿ… Brenton F gives us a glimpse into what madness really is, with his poem, โ€œMadness Isโ€. This is a terrifying introduction to a very intimate visitor. Make sure you have a secure grip on reality before venturing into this one!

๐Ÿ… Paul Stewart offers us a longer piece with his โ€œIn the Shadow of the Monolithโ€. This tale will quickly claw you into its world, but how would you respond to the Monolith? The deep symbolism in this story reveals some unsettling truths about human behavior!

๐Ÿ… Dharrsheenaโ€™s โ€œThe Mirror Journeyโ€ asks the question we have all wondered, even if not aloud: โ€œWho am I?โ€ For this particular person, however, the image staring back at him is unfamiliar, and that leads him on a long, soul-searching journey on a collision course with a twisted reality!

๐Ÿ… L.C. Schรคfer gives us this gentle reminder that โ€œWeโ€™re All Mad Hereโ€! I think this is a powerful truth! I never gave much thought to the facelessness of characters, but this is spot on! We conjure up something from our own minds to conveniently fill in those gaps. โ€œWhen life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams โ€” this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness โ€” and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!โ€ โ€• Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

๐Ÿ… Tressa Rose gives us a soul-baring reminder with her powerful piece, โ€œThe Truth Hurtsโ€. Whatever you are facing today, please know you do not have to face it alone. Tressa, thank you for sharing your journey!

๐Ÿ… Mack Ames gives us โ€œPhillips & Sandersonโ€, a story about high school friends who discover that a prank isnโ€™t always what you think it is. This story reads like a chapter right out of RL Stinesโ€™ Goosebumps.

๐Ÿ… โ€œWrong Answers Onlyโ€ (and I like the half solutions, too) by lucyjb explores the dichotomy of numbers and words. Do rules confine you? lucyjb (no caps โ€“ because, well, rules) takes us on this journey. Circles? Squares? Triangles? Infinity? Come enjoy the freedom of words in this mad universe of numbers!

๐Ÿ… Dharrsheenaโ€™s poem, โ€œThe Chronicles of Redโ€ gives us a glimpse into the madness driving Rubyโ€™s vengefulness. She was so angry, she could only see RED!

๐Ÿ… Catsidhe gives us a thought-provoking piece, โ€œToday is a New Dayโ€. The question is, what kind of a day is it going to be? It seems fitting that I got to this one on a day marked by the madness of shadows (eclipse). Who decides what societal norms are within the bounds of sanity? What if we are wrong? (I might expect that answer from a person who is mad! lol)

๐Ÿ… Catsidhe finishes the March Madness set with โ€œStarsโ€, a poem honoring Edgar Allan Poeโ€™s poem, โ€œThe Bellsโ€. This could have been written by Poe himself. Fantastic! (Cat includes some stanzas from Poe for comparison.)

We had some good discussion about โ€œMadness in Musicโ€, as well as โ€œMadness on the Big Screenโ€.

Madness on the Big Screen!

Thank you ALL for participating, and, of course, WELCOME TO WRITE CLUB! ๐ŸฅŠ

If I have somehow overlooked an Entry, please let me know!

Write Club Rules!

ShoutoutWriting ExerciseVocalPromptsChallenge

About the Creator

๐‘๐Œ ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐œ๐ค๐ญ๐จ๐ง

หœโ€*ยฐโ€ข.หœโ€*ยฐโ€ข Time is our most valuable asset. Thank you for spending some of your time with me! โ€ขยฐ*โ€หœ.โ€ขยฐ*โ€หœ

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Comments (18)

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    This was one of my favorite challenges! Thank you so much for the amazing effort you put into all of these challenges. Great work, RM!!!

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    I am seriously just seeing this. Don't know how I missed it. I need to read all those that I missed, shaking off the cobwebs and diving back in. I swear you could run your version of Vocal. Shhhh, said in secret??? Wonderful. On to April we go.

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    So many fantastic entries!! What a fabulous and thoughtful write up. Wonderful work on running such an amazing prompt series! Thank you for your generosity :)

  • Shirley Belk3 months ago

    Well done everyone. I haven't read them all, but will do my best to catch up.

  • D.K. Shepard3 months ago

    Thank you so much for hosting such a great challenge, RM! Iโ€™ve got some more reading to do!

  • Randy Baker3 months ago

    Good job, everyone! And thank you, RM, for hosting a great challenge!

  • Lindsay Sfara3 months ago

    Wow! Congrats everyone!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)3 months ago

    Yaay!! Congrats to all the winners and thank you so much RM for putting this on for us!!

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    That was a great challenge. Thank you so very much.

  • Matthew Fromm3 months ago

    Thank you so so much! What a great challenge

  • Daphsam3 months ago

    Wonderful shoutout to amazing writers!

  • Omggg, thank you so much Rob! ๐Ÿฅนโค๏ธ That was so unexpected! Also, I'm so sorry you had to read so many entries from me ๐Ÿ˜… If it makes you feel any better, please know that Mr Brain has nothing for AI April. Yet ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Also, congratulations to everyone! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽŠ

  • Paul Stewart3 months ago

    Well now. Thank you, Rob, fella! For the shout-out/selection and for running these amazing challenges. For unofficial challenges, they are put together with a nice sheen and slickness! I will be delving into all the wonderful pieces above that I missed thus far and I need to get my thinking cap on, twist it round a little and then jump into it to come up with something for the April challenge. Thank you again and well done to every single person who took part!

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    Thank you for another great challenge. I've not got my head round April's yet but I will! Some great writing here, eh?

  • lucyjb3 months ago

    such a fun challenge! thanks for the mention!

  • Anna 3 months ago

    Congrats to all the winners!๐Ÿฅณ

  • Catsidhe3 months ago

    Thank you so much! And thank you for another great prompt and for keeping the club going!

๐‘๐Œ ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐œ๐ค๐ญ๐จ๐งWritten by ๐‘๐Œ ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐œ๐ค๐ญ๐จ๐ง

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