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The Record, Stockton, Calif., Michael Fitzgerald column
[January 16, 2013]

The Record, Stockton, Calif., Michael Fitzgerald column

Jan 16, 2013 (The Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Hey, amigo! Quit living incognito, write me something neato, that'll fly like a mosquito from here to Escondido. Join the annual 55-Word Writing Contest! The rules are simple: write a 55-word essay or poem. Fifty-five words precisely. Send it to me.

Winner wins $55.

We publish your entry, your photograph and we make a big deal of you in the newspaper. We also publish you online. We Facebook you. We blog you. We tweet you. Others re-tweet you. Still others serve tweet peas.

By way of example, here is a 55-Worder: 1,000 Ways to Happiness, Condensed Let it go. (for real this time) Smile.

Stop rationalizing. Start being honest.

Stop glaring. Start making eye contact.

Stop talking. Start listening.


Stop honking. Start waving.

Stop splurging. Start conserving.

Stop swearing. Start forgiving.


Cut calories. Add walking.

Donate time, money and blood.

Stop holding back. Start reaching out.

Repeat as needed.

- Kirsten Carlson Entry is free. Enter as often as you like. School classes may enter. The chattering class may enter. French classes may entrez.

Titles don't count toward your 55 words. Contractions such as "can't" count as one. Hyphenated words such as fifty-five count as two. Write "55," and it's one.

You get figurative extra points if you send your entry as straight e-mail and not in an attachment.

Include your daytime phone number, so I can notify you that you won.

Mail, email, fax (209-547-8186) or hand-deliver your entry by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25. Subjects can be anything. Past subjects include Stockton, sporks, politics, pets, this, that, Miles Davis, Fox News anchorwomen, cloying tweener love poems, lunch meat and the need for Celine Dion to retire. Deploy your whimsy.

The winner and selected entries will be published Feb. 12.

Count twice and have fun.

Contact columnist Michael Fitzgerald at (209) 546-8270 or Visit his blog at

___ (c)2013 The Record (Stockton, Calif.) Visit The Record (Stockton, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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