Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Friday Challenge Arrived on Sunday This Week

First off, thanks to everyone who entered or commented on the 1/11/08 Friday Challenge. It's always nice to have the problem of trying to select from among too many good submissions. After giving it careful consideration, though, while rycamor's entry made me laugh out loud and BWWB's entry made me shake my head in knowing sympathy, I have to pick Vidad MaGoodn as the winner, for an entry that was crisp, concise, and beautifully written. It started strong, ended strong, made his point with subtle wit, included not one wasted word, and best of all, seemed to motivate the rest of you to get off your duffs and submit an entry.

Vidad, come on down and claim your prize.

Now, as for this week's challenge: since it's a short week, I'm tossing out a short assignment. We had a diet book come into the shop the other day, written by someone with rather shaky nutritional credentials, which argued that the reason why squirrels have so little excess body fat is because they eat a diet high in nuts. (The author seemingly missed the fact that squirrels also spend all day engaged in the highly aerobic activity of running up and down trees.)

Ergo, your challenge is to imagine you have just started The Squirrel Diet, a healthy high-fiber diet consisting entirely of unsalted nuts, fresh or dried fruits, gnawable raw vegetables, and spring water, and you are keeping a daily diary of the changes you feel in your health and attitude as the diet progresses. E.g., "Day One: Began the squirrel diet today. I miss my morning coffee, but surprisingly it was not hard to fill up and feel satisfied on cashews, dried apricots, and carrots. Drank a half-gallon of water, and for the first time in weeks I feel really well-hydrated.

"Day Two: Slept like a log last night, and woke up feeling fantastic. Weighed myself; I've lost three pounds already! Went for a walk, and it was like looking at the world through new eyes. Why have I never noticed before how beautiful trees are?

"Day Three: The dog is starting to stare at me strangely..."

In keeping with what we learned last week about Haloscan, I'd like to propose a few changes in the way you can submit entries. If you want to write up your diary as one piece and post it, feel free to do so. If you'd rather post it on your own blog and post a link to it, that'll work, too. Or, if you'd rather treat this as an ongoing project, and actually post a new daily entry each day, that might turn out best of all.

As always, we're playing by the rather informal rules of the Friday Challenge, and playing for whatever is behind Door #2. Even if you're not writing an entry, you're encouraged to read, comment on, and vote for your favorites among the other entries.

Ready? Then get cracking!