View Full Version : Part 2 - Challenge! Presidents' Day International

January 24th, 2014, 12:38 AM
First, if you are just joining us, this is part two of the Presidents’ Day International challenge. Please head on over to Part One (http://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread.php/5552-Challenge!-Presidents-Day-International-Part-1) to read up on this challenge, and check out the champion gift I will be awarding with the completion of Part Two. Also, please check and read the very important Rules & Uglies (http://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread.php/5553-Challenge!-Presidents-Day-International-Rules-and-Uglies) (disclaimers) post, as well.

On to Part Two, and the heart of this challenge!

We need new practice sentences!

We want to improve our penmanship, and we want to learn new scripts, and the best way to do this is by practice. We practice over and over, perfecting our hands at writing. Practice sentences using the words and letter combinations that trip us up and drive us nuts help us with this goal.

However, as fond as I am of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or a sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I want a practice sentence that really makes me work at moving my pen across the page for better writing. I also want such a practice sentence to be unique and interesting, as well as challenging, even if it is not the most logical or grammatically correct. I want a story practice sentence. Actually, I want a variety of story practice sentences. And, so begins this final stage of the challenge.

Your entry:

Using as many words from the word list (http://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread.php/5552-Challenge!-Presidents-Day-International-Part-1?p=62688&viewfull=1#post62688) as you are able, and incorporating some of the difficult letter combinations we’ve gathered where you are able, please create for us all a new practice sentence.

Your sentence must also tell some kind of story.

Your sentence doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be something that you would want to use for practice for yourself, as well. Pick out those words and nasty letter combinations that drive you nuts to try and write, and use your creativity to tell us all a little story.

You do not have to use all the words in the list – that would make one seriously long writing session, and I don’t want anyone to end up with carpel tunnel as a result.

You do not have to use only the words in the list, of course we need a few connectors and flow additions, and other words you feel fit the difficult words criteria, too.

Do use a little bit of punctuation now and again – commas and semicolons – as we need a pause once in a while to let ourselves catch up and to let our hands rest a moment. There will be no punctuation police, but give us the pause to think, digest and enjoy while we practice.

No grammar police, either, just do your best in the name of fun.

What about length? Well, long enough to get some good practice out of a fun little story, but let’s keep it to about a half a page (US letter size) or less, and think double spaced as if you were hand writing the sentence. A little over or under, no worries, but we want to be reasonable and keep it a length that will hold our attention as well as our practice. Everyone's handwriting varies, I know that, so I won't be saying you must have so many words or lines or that kind of thing. Go with your instinct and fair reason.

What about hand writing the sentence? Honestly, I would not only like to see your typed version posted for legibility, but I would also like to see a snapshot of your own hand written version posted with it as well. I won’t make that a requirement, but we are here for practice, and I think it would add much to the challenge for us to actually use our story sentences.

I will not be judging the entries by penmanship. The entries are going to be there to help us all improve.

I will be looking for the use of difficult words and for creativity, but also for a little bit of practicality. Not only do I want to be able to use the sentence for penmanship practice, but some others – and you – may want to, as well. Don’t aim for total frustration, aim for a bit of challenging fun.

I will review all the practice sentence entries submitted by midnight, Mountain Daylight Time in the US (I’m in Colorado on the map), on Monday morning, February 17, 2014 – Presidents’ Day in the US, for the challenge champion. There will be only one champion, who will receive the challenge gift (see part one for gift details).

In the evening of February 17, 2014, hopefully by 6:00 p.m., MDT in the US, I plan to post the name of the winning entry.

For that last bit of inspiration, here is the full practice sentence that started it all back in 2008:

Disturbed by his colleagues' lack of enthusiasm, again and again the Egyptian astrophysicist visiting the observatory in Mississippi analyzed the multi-part transcription of telecommunications from the Galileo probe for the minimum of errors and maximum of syzygy, murmuring nervously over the unerring interference from the unnerving rumble of the mummers' minivan in the nunnery next door as a neighboring Afghani analyst coughed lightly while weighing his thoughts over straightening a spaghetti-code-laden program designed for intergalactic exploration blighted by oversight before getting his prized midnight snack of yoghurt and doughnuts from the equipment room icebox.

(See what I mean about punctuation?)

So, please champion my cause, post your entries, and above all, have fun!

January 24th, 2014, 10:26 AM
(Thanks, Dannzeman! You're awesome!)

January 26th, 2014, 06:54 AM
Intolerance and bigotry
Make more of what so less should be
For hatred stark and racist thought
Must in the end, all lead to nought

When arrogant pursuit of fear
Deprives us all of what is dear
The time must come when we say "no"
To face our nemesis and show

The strength of love,
The joy of peace
The end of narrow mindedness.

January 26th, 2014, 10:01 AM
And the first out of the gate! Thank you, youstruckgold!

January 31st, 2014, 04:40 PM
Remember, midnight of the morning of the 17th of February is the deadline for entries!

February 4th, 2014, 09:57 PM
Thank you, kia, for hosting such a generous contest!

Here's my submission! One of my problem areas is a lower case "d"—it sometimes comes out looking like "c-l" instead—so I've included a fair amount of those in my practice sentence.

Dominique, the contumacious delinquent, efficiently bagged the pungent garbage generated by the dizzyingly debauched bacchanalia, quietly humming a jaunty minuet as she pondered a number of the distinguished (yet fundamentally uninhibited) guests—Zachary, the braggart bookkeeper (and Bilbo Baggins look-alike), who’d brought his quixotic friend in hideous fuchsia gabardine, a fellow disproportionately obsessed with the etymology of “zeitgeist;” dowdy Deirdre in telecommunications, who proved unable to maintain her objectivity concerning mayonnaise; and the garrulous Xavier, whose frenzied gyrations were the shindig’s unquestioned highlight—and eagerly anticipated the subsequent gathering in Quebec a quinquennium hence.


February 4th, 2014, 11:27 PM
Fiendish! Thank you, swanjun!

February 5th, 2014, 06:31 AM
Heh. Thanks!

February 9th, 2014, 11:17 AM
Just one week remains to the entry deadline of midnight the morning of the 17th, US mountain standard time!

February 9th, 2014, 11:38 AM
I havent forgotten. need to get some housekeeping done first.

February 9th, 2014, 05:13 PM
Here's mine! It may be a bit long, but it works well for me. Even some of the words in this that I use regularly are surprisingly challenging! Especially "obviously." The ones I found most challenging were ones with "r" in them, since that's the letter I have the most trouble with, so I put a bunch of those in. I've used it for a bunch of inks I sampled in the past week, and it's been really great practice!

Doctor Xavier Dungbeetle was a benign yet eccentric Czechoslovakian hippopotamus veterinarian, who was quite knowledgeable due to his extensive encyclopedia collection, but he also had a particularly strong love of gambling, and while doing so, he would consume dizzying amounts of Bordeaux (always thinking that a cappuccino afterwards would offset the wine's somnolent effects), and once, he became so profoundly inebriated and uninhibited that he indiscriminately accosted all passersby with pronunciation so accented as to be mistaken for gibberish, and expostulated with them until his voice became hoarse, and then, obviously having lost his way, he wove a schizophrenic path down the street, as if it were some strange labyrinthine passage, until he fell upon his derriere and an officer, who coincidentally was of his acquaintance, spotted him, maneuvered him into his police car, and promptly ferried him home to his worried wife, Emmanuelle.


February 9th, 2014, 07:03 PM
Excellent story sentence, and nice script, too! Thank you, odd_soul!

February 13th, 2014, 08:17 AM
Bilbo Baggins found himself flummoxed by philology in Czechoslovakia where an eccentric singing dachshund accosted him with a medieval mnemonic that left him rhythmically lilting through the lazy dog's labyrinthine language until he bluffed his way onto an orgulous beekeeper's yacht; after much subterfuge and stealthy shamming, Baggins reached the Caribbean shores of Venezuela - where the schizophrenic telecommunications were a real bugbear, but luckily Baggins met a dizzyingly beauteous hippopotamus dressed in fuchsia gabardine who acquiesced to that quixotic ancient hobbit charm; she thoughtfully built for them a beggarly bungalow - it was a bit provincial, but it was perfect for an old curmudgeon like Baggins, and they lived there together in their own eccentric Elysium.

(Please excuse the mix of print/cursive - my cursive script looks like a third-graders' wrong-handed scrawl. Obviously, I need to use these practice sentences!)

February 13th, 2014, 10:15 AM
Bilbo has had more adventures than those we've previously read! Thank you, Reprieve!

February 15th, 2014, 09:01 AM
Mine started off short...

The otherwise eccentric curmudgeonly dachshund Xavier Carlyle, dressed in garbardine, was enjoying the view from his bungalow while eating his breakfast of leftover pizza and a cappuccino (with a hint of sassafras).

All of a sudden he remembered needing to find his passport for the upcoming annual journey to visit his friend Marrissa Emmanuelle. The itinerary shows layovers in Egypt, Quebec and Mississippi before finally arriving in the caribbean. Previous routes included Venezuela, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

The bordeaux coloured passport should be under the bookkeeper's armoire he thought to himself. As he started to nose through, he discovered that this was going to be a difficult undertaking. First he found an empty mayonnaise packet, a fuschia hammer, a toy hippopotamus, the census from last year, the missing bugle (from when the bookkeeper was a Lieutenant), miscellaneous daggers and various other things. Finally, hidden underneath the stuffed easter bunny all the way in the back was that essential government document.

Between the hunt for the passport and ridiculous travel route, Xavier decided that next year's trip will be more leisurely and he'll travel via a luxury yacht listening to jazz the entire way. All that searching was very tiring he thought and started to daydream about lunch. It must be something nutritious... hummus, the rest of the hors d'oeuvres and a salad with vinaigrette.

February 15th, 2014, 06:36 PM
I thought I had posted a thank you, Caribbean_Skye. Forgive my lateness!

February 15th, 2014, 08:49 PM
I thought I had posted a thank you, Caribbean_Skye. Forgive my lateness!

heh, no worries. Thank you!

February 16th, 2014, 03:27 PM
Alatriste's accent was patrician, his bearing straight though not stiff (an elegant contrapposto as he leant slightly towards whomever he was addressing); there was a lazy pride in his attitude, and he seemed not so much eccentric as simply abstracted from the quotidian bustle that he hardly deigned to notice; but it was all subterfuge - his provinicialism showed in the grubbiness of his cuffs, the unevenness of his shaving, and the way he pick-pocketed buzz-words as if he'd swallowed the Encyclopaedia; far from an aficionado and a connoisseur, in the end he'd proved merely a braggart and a thief with one eye on the ladies and the other on the main chance.

February 16th, 2014, 06:33 PM
Thank you for starting this, I've had so much fun making up sentences!

Braggart Lazarus resurrects Les Automatistes to rearrange Quebec's labyrinthine curiosities chateau and gives them dizzyingly uninhibited critiques of their collected works, while they nibble hummus, rutabaga, and mayonnaise gumbo, washed down with draughts of bordeaux, and huff about a collaboration to egress as guerrillas to Bologna and there sing solemn jazz hymns to the Caribbean commonwealth over pineapple pizza and sassafras tea, but all are accosted by Dominique, the beekeeper, with a mnemonic philology questionnaire and Lazarus must cease his soliloquy to acquiesce at which Les Automatistes defiantly cease to exist.

February 16th, 2014, 06:51 PM
Thank you amk and imaginerhetoric! Great entries!

Just another 6 hours remain to submit entries! The challenge ends at midnight my time here in Colorado in the USA!

February 16th, 2014, 10:40 PM
The distinguished Galileo Galilei was sipping his cappuccino when he suddently flinched off his commode when he saw the full moon and recalled that it was the night of Syzzygy (the rearranging of all planets in a lineal form),wich will generate a powerful energy beam somewhere between today's Tennessee and Mississippi.
With no telecommunications those days he had to get out of his cottage but this was difficult due to his government problems and also being guarded by Castellammare di Reggia's finest guardsman,Yeffo and Ziggio.Under this condition he had discreetly to wiggle out of the cottage and reach to the famous bookkeeper and stealth master,Emmanuelle.
Once arrived there,he explained in a pizzazzed manner how necessarily is a reconnaissance mission to that location.Realising the significance of this quest she aquiesced that this phenomenon is at maximum risk of passing unseen,and,with the minimum requirements they quickly headed to J.Herbin's Docks.

P.S. Here's my exercise and thanks for the opportunity !!

February 16th, 2014, 11:15 PM
A fine submission! Thank you, Script1one!

And, wow, you write "Galileo" beautifully! Very nice handwriting!

February 17th, 2014, 01:45 AM



February 17th, 2014, 05:57 PM
Well, I'm ready a little bit early, how about you? :bounce:

I don’t know about you all, but I had a ton of fun with this challenge!

I spent a lot of time writing interesting and difficult practice sentences, and I spent a lot of time debating the final outcome. Trust me, this was not easy! All of the entries were fun and creative!

But, in the end, there can be only one (so the Highlander claims)…



Congratulations, odd_soul!

Please PM me with your name, full mailing address, and a valid email address within 2 weeks max (today is fine, too :) ), and I will then share with you how to claim your grand prize of Edison Pen and gift certificate from the Goulet Pen Company ($250 total value), and I will explain how arrangements were made to pay your shipping costs!

Well done!

But wait…


(…and, no, I did not know this was coming either - it wasn’t planned, it was impulsively done when the challenge officially ended and champion chosen)

This really was a challenge for me to pick the champion out of so many wonderful entries. Although I cannot match the grand prize for everyone else, nor can I pick up the shipping costs for everyone else, each of the remaining persons who submitted practice sentence entries in Part 2 of the challenge will also receive a small thank you from me in the form of a $35 gift certificate from the Goulet Pen Company for having participated in my quest. The resulting sentences/ stories/poems are fanciful, thoughtful and intriguing, to say the least, and all were a joy for me to see (and write).

So, congratulations and a $35 gift certificate is awarded to each of these seven runners up: youstruckgold, swanjun, reprieve, caribbean_skye, amk, imaginerhetoric, and Script1one!

Please PM me with your names, full mailing addresses, and valid email addresses within 2 weeks, and I will share with you how to claim your gift certificates!

Finally, in parting, I will post all of the entries submitted in a new thread called “Difficult Words Practice Sentences” and link to the difficult words list for all to enjoy in the future. I hope everyone will visit it often and add more sentences and practice stories for everyone to share and discuss over fun and creativity for improving our writing. Never mind the sentences are not perfect grammatically or even with perfect flow, they are there to challenge us and help us improve in areas that are difficult for us when we write.

Thank you, everyone!


A special thanks also goes out to Brian Gray of Edison Pen Company and Brian Goulet of Goulet Pen Company for allowing me to use their products and services, respectively, for my challenge.

February 17th, 2014, 06:59 PM
Congratulations, Odd_Soul! Once I saw yours, I knew I had been beaten. :)

And wow! Thank you, kia!

Jon Szanto
February 17th, 2014, 07:00 PM
What a generous person you are, Kia, in coin and in spirit. Thank you for being such a fine part of this community. http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb204/EnvoyC/emotes/flower.gif

February 17th, 2014, 07:11 PM
Congratulations, Odd_Soul! Once I saw yours, I knew I had been beaten. :)

And wow! Thank you, kia!

I loved yours, swanjun! It was so much fun! I really thought it would be you, amk, or reprieve who won! They were all great, though, really. :)

Thanks, kia, for creating such a fun challenge!

February 17th, 2014, 07:23 PM
Congrats old_soul. I entered solely because I need to practise my penmanship outside of just writing letters. It was great seeing everyone's handwriting.

Thanks Kia, it was a lot of fun.

February 17th, 2014, 07:32 PM
I loved yours, swanjun! It was so much fun! I really thought it would be you, amk, or reprieve who won! They were all great, though, really. :)

Mine might've been a fiendish penmanship exercise, but yours was the better story. :)

February 17th, 2014, 07:35 PM
Congratulations, odd_soul! I really liked your entry! :rockon:

Also, kia deserves a huge round of applause for her creativity and generosity. Now that's the altruistic fountain-pen-community spirit that I have come to know and love! :clap2::clap2::clap2:

February 17th, 2014, 07:53 PM
Also, kia deserves a huge round of applause for her creativity and generosity. Now that's the altruistic fountain-pen-community spirit that I have come to know and love! :clap2::clap2::clap2:

Three cheers for kia!
:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

February 17th, 2014, 07:57 PM
Also, kia deserves a huge round of applause for her creativity and generosity. Now that's the altruistic fountain-pen-community spirit that I have come to know and love! :clap2::clap2::clap2:

Three cheers for kia!
:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

Here, here!
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

February 17th, 2014, 08:39 PM
:o You all are terrific!! I had just hoped we would all have fun, and I think we did!


February 19th, 2014, 12:45 AM
Well done all! Congrats to Odd Soul; And add me to the others congratulating Kia !!! Lots of fun!