Monday, September 10, 2012

Your ankles could win you a book.

Fastest blog post EVER.

I should tell you that ASK THE PASSENGERS received its third starred review last week. Here's a quote:

✮ "King continues to expertly plumb the lovely numbness of a young person struck by emotional paralysis. ... Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking achievement."--Booklist 


Now...for a contest.
EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS comes out in paperback in 8 days. So here's what you have to do to win a copy.

Write me a comment about your ankles. I want to know about them. Ankles are very nice. They are the gateway to the feet, and feet are pretty awesome, too.

If you feel like writing about your imagined ankles, or your ankles from the third person, that's great. If you feel like penning a poem or a limerick, that's great too. So long as it works. If you're new to these writing contests, know that whatever you enter has to work. We're not here to mess around. I like great writing. Avoid cliches. Anyone who uses the term cankles will be disqualified.

DEADLINE: Friday, September 14th, 2012 11:59pm EST
**CONTEST CLOSED**
WORD LIMIT: Go to town. But don't drown us.
WINNER: will be chosen by the hamsters again. They're getting great at this.

Please leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win.
Also, if you posted or tweeted about this contest, tell me. You get extra entries.

Go!


18 comments:

Liviania said...

There is a term you have disqualified. I must admit it is a term I don't understand. I've never seen someone whose calves blend into their feet. But it makes me wonder if there's something wrong with my own ankles and mine are so deformed that I've been inured to any ankle weirdness.

And, I mean, my ankles are certainly prettier than my feet. (I took ballet seriously for years. My feet are strong and graceful, but not pretty. It's a fair trade.) They're bony, like the rest of me. But rounded bones, which is more novel.

But generally I don't think of my ankles unless I'm pondering the mystery of why I can see everyone's ankles when various sources are telling me that some people don't have real ankles. (They're right there. I don't get it.)

I suppose this is more about other people's ankles than my own. I'll make up for it with a fun fact: there is a keloid scar on the outer side of my left ankle. I have no clue what caused it.

Robin said...

My ankles have superpowers.

No, seriously. I mean it.

No matter where I step or how I land, my ankles will not sprain or twist. Through snow, or sleet, or slippery rocks, my ankles have not failed me. I've slipped on ice. I've fallen off tables (don't ask.) I've broken my arm, given myself a concussion. Throughout it all, my ankles have remained.

I have ankles of steel. Or maybe rubber. I don't know - it's not a perfect analogy.

BookWormInBarrie said...

I would have to say that ankles always fascinated me a little, what is their use? Why are they shaped like that? Mine look pretty typical I guess, I tend not to look at them much as they are too close to my feet, and I have a foot phobia, they really creep me out!

Sophie said...

I have always been afraid of ankles. Ever since that day when... well, there has never actually been a REASON for my phobia. If I weren't so afraid of pain, I would have my ankles amputated and my feet sewn back onto my legs. My ankles scare me that much. I have never had much love for the area near my feet. My feet on the other hand... are amazing. But back to the subject at hand, my ankles are being incredibly annoying at the moment, just being there, and all. But the horror! You have not experienced true fear until you have seen my ankles!
rubberninja.pickle@rocketmail.com

Kat Brown said...

I love my feet and if the assignment was to write about feet I would wax poetic about my high arches and the calluses that let me pirouette on pavement. Instead, I'll tell you about the angry friction burns right where my shins meet the tops of my feet. I got them from dancing on the carpet in my living room. Across the backs of my ankles are crusty grey scabs that never heal because I insist on wearing heels whenever I possibly can. After a night of ballet, my ankles crack like an old man's swollen knuckles. My ankles are thick and loud, red and swollen, but they connect my feet to my body. And because of that, they are wonderful.

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

My first job, all two days of it, netted a paycheck that bought a pair of 8-hole Docs. Not just plain old black 8-holes. Uh-uh. Purple 8-holes that matched my purple contacts. Why yes, thank you for noticing! I was, indeed, the shiz.

My second job, at a record store, had me standing and walking, day after day, in those purple Docs, offering holiday shoppers and kids with allowances bigger than my paycheck if they needed my mad skills for finding what they were looking for, with a smile on my face, even if I wished one--just one--would ask for Skinny Puppy instead of Shabba Ranks. (For the record, pardon the pun, it's damn hard to remember which moving and pushing shopper has already received the offer, and they DO NOT like to be asked twice. Just ask the one who slammed her box set down, cussed me out and stormed through the door.) Two unfortunate things came from that job: 1) chew toy-dom for pissy people, determined to share their holiday joy with someone other than me (at your service!). 2) Because of the rubbing those rad Docs did, one darkened, bruised ankle--the right one--that never recovered.

I've scrubbed it. I've lemon juiced it. I've lotioned it. I've waited for it to match its twin for 19 years. I can remember the cassettes I stocked and the CDs I secretly ordered to make the store cooler, but I don't remember what it's like to have two matching, unmarred ankles. In Pretty in Pink, Iona warns Andie that people who miss their proms regret it, always. Nope. People who wear incorrect shoes to crap jobs regret it, always.

Unless they win an awesome book, written by one of their YA lit heroes. There's that.

kalinda@thecuriouscrow.com (Hope I didn't just make you regret that no word limit, but no drowning readers thing up there.)

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

btw--I didn't Tweet it (I'm a miserable Twit), but I did reblog my response; since I've been ignoring my blog for far too long, it seemed an easy-way-out entry. I gave you a shout out, explained the contest, called you brilliant, and linked back to the contest. :D

You're welcome to stop by, anytime!

Aaron Pound said...

Years of running have made my ankles a source of constant ache. When I was younger, they would only ache and creak after I had put in miles on the road, but now whether I am running, walking, sitting, or lying down, they remind me of the miles on the road, pounding one foot after another in the sun, the rain, the sleet, the snow.

Now the road feels the same as the rest of my life, my ankles protesting at any use. I sometimes wonder if one can get replacement ankles, but then I might get sore only when I run and won't want to run. So I may as well keep these ones, and keep running.

Aaron

unpub said...

This comment is NOT a contest entry. I am merely lodging a complaint. Honestly, haven't we seen enough writing contests about ankles recently? Does the world really need another one? Just when the trend of wrist-related contests is finally starting to die down (and not a moment too soon), here we go with the variations. The ankle contests, the knee contests, the second-knuckle-contests... The madness has to stop. Look. Ankles are beautifully-designed, versatile, powerful joints, but I say: isn't it time we gave them some privacy? Who's with me?

Matthew MacNish said...

I don't need to win this, but I'll write to you about my right ankle, anyway.

It has my one and only tattoo on it. It's a cross, with the word "free" above it, and the word "will" below it.

It was done with a sewing needle, wrapped with thread, and dipped in indio ink. I was in tenth grade, at boarding school.

Yes, I know it's a Rush song.

Sarah said...

Well it’s about damn time.

It’s been what? Fifteen years of hauling your ass around and you’ve barely acknowledged our existence at all.

What? Do you really think those lazy, idiotic feet do all the work? Please. Where do you think you’d be if we didn’t attach them to the rest of your freaking body?! Just because those conceited jerks take all the credit doesn’t mean they deserve it.

But we’ve come to terms long ago that we, your ankles, would always be ignored. Always unloved.

We get smothered by itchy woolen socks and suffocated by unflattering UGG boots half the year. We’re that part of your leg that always gets bumped and bruised when you slam your leg into the side of your desk. That sliver of skin that’s perpetually cold when your pants are too short and you neglect to wear socks.

You know, we’ve never asked for much. All this time we've just wanted some attention and appreciation.
So don’t think that because you’ve started taking notice and apologizing that we’d forget an entire history of repression and pain.
We won’t be won over that easily.
Healing takes time you know.
Apology not accepted yet.

Okay.
We still love you too.
Not you though feet. You can go to hell.

chang.sarah.s@gmail.com

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Ankles at the bottom of a Southern's girl's legs are supposed to be pretty and slim.

Attached to legs that brown like toast and feet that run like the wind.

But some girls don't get beach vacations or the freedom to run far and wide.

They're stuck with dull razors, some dark brown stubble, and a tattoo growing old on the side.

But it doesn't matter which kind she's got, dainty or dull, strong, or weak as a stem.

'Cause this girl's ankles have held her up well, even when writing poetry on a whim.

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Oops, here's my e-mail. jro (at) jrowrites (dot) com

Aaron Pound said...

Sorry, forgot to include my e-mail address: aaronpound4@gmail.com

Aaron.

Shari Green said...

I walk on the beach almost every day. Mine is not a sandy, easy-to-walk-on beach. It's filled with wet seaweed, stones that tip unexpectedly, and driftwood logs that shift on a whim. Through all those dangers, toils, and snares, my ankles have supported me. Not once have I fallen on my butt at the beach...yet.

Here are my ankles relaxing after seeing me safely through my walk: http://sharigreen.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/imgp3487a.jpg

:)

sharigreen.ya AT gmail.com

Abi said...

My Right Ankle Had a Nightmare Last Night
First, we were just walking. The usual facilitation of a gentle flex, allowing movement of the foot without bothering the calf muscle or the rest of the leg. I like walking, as you know. I feel important, and useful. I take pride in my strength and delicacy as I efficiently let the foot flip down, the leg move up.
Then, I was jostled and jolted by uneven ground beneath us. One mound became a nest of fire ants, pinching me, pinching the calf and the toes and under the toes nails and climbing up and getting her abs, all of which caused writhing that make my work harder as we kept walking, walking, stumbling, walking, falling, walking over that pocked ground. Twisting and grinding against myself, but still working.
I started wishing for the heavy, plodding, protecting and ankle supporting work boots she wears on the factory floor. I even started wishing for a tottering spike heel, anything useful – at least we could spike the ants - or now the snapping turtles - that harried us, before losing it in a whole or twisting myself or left ankle. Wait – we are naked! I thought, suddenly. No sock or strap or anything, and right foot was exposed, too.
As soon as I realized that, we were clothed. Relief flooded me as I felt the cozy cotton, peered out to see a – a backless clog! Chills ran through me. As we stepped off a ledge on the uneven ground, all the muscle and bones above me behaving like we were still on flat—just as we were about to relive my worst-ever experience, the twisting pain that hobbled right foot and I and our whole person for weeks and weakened us for a year – I woke with a start, a twinge.
My sudden, gasping, return to reality woke right calf off, who tensed up, feeling my fear. Our person woke, screaming, and started to rub the painful tightness out of right calf. I couldn’t feel guilty. I stayed away, listening to the sleepy rhythms of muscles and blood and bones, and slowly relaxed.

~~~
Email is "a NOSPACE kurf NOSPACE man AT gmail DOT com"

I told a bunch of people about it and posted on my facebook. Not verifiable, really, but what I wanted to do to spread the word. :)

If this qualifies as a reader-burying avalanche, I apologize.

Anonymous said...

The evenings were a threat to my ankles. During the day, the integrity of my ankles was protected by the office manager, who chain smoked and made me clean the yellow nicotine stains from the office windows each week. (This was back in the 80's, folks, when smoking was allowed everywhere.) I was 19 years old, and I worked from noon to nine as a clerk at an auto dealership. Mostly, I took money from people who came in to get their cars repaired but, in the evenings, I worried and gave my ankles pep talks.

My favorite “salesman” was a woman with beautiful ankles. She sold twice as many cars as any of the men. She would sit on a high stool in the showroom, ankles crossed and on display. As soon as a customer came in, they were immediately drawn to her ankles. She would smile and nod, primly uncross her ankles, stand up, and begin her sales pitch.

Some evenings, her husband would come in. He was a state police officer—on duty and in uniform. He would strut over to his wife on the stool and stroke her ankles. Then, he would stand behind her on the stool, and she would bend her knees, so he could reach her ankles and continue stroking them. PDA’s, folks! I wanted to yell, “Get a room!” But I was too shy. Besides, I was glad when she kept him busy.

As soon as a customer came in, the ankle stroking stopped, the saleswoman went to work, and the police officer would head toward my office. The first time he came in, I was polite and said, “Hello.” He asked me a few questions, and then suddenly, using his best officer voice, commanded, “Take your ankles out from under that desk.”

As I was used to obeying authority figures, I swung my chair around and exposed my ankles. He grabbed them in his hands and began stroking them. I yanked them out of his grasp, hid them under the desk, and said, “I have a lot of work to do.”

“No, you don’t,” he retorted.

“Your wife is out there.”

“She’s busy.”

“I’ll tell her what you did.”

“No, you won’t. If you do, I’ll tell her that you put your ankles in my lap. I’ll get you fired.”

This scene of ankle abuse was repeated several nights a week, for months on end. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more. I told the office manager, who seemed shocked and very sympathetic. However, the next day she told me that unfortunately, business was bad and they “had” to lay me off. The office would be closed in the evenings. This was a lie. I knew what the truth was. The ankle-stroking police officer and his wife had more power and were more believable than a 19-year-old woman with “slutty” ankles.

On the way to a job interview the following week, I twisted my right ankle and the heel of my shoe broke off. If it wasn’t for the ankle strap, I don’t think I could have kept going. As I was thinking what a fool I was going to look like, limping into a job interview with a broken shoe and a swollen ankle, I spotted a shoe repair shop. I told the man behind the counter that I was on my way to a job interview. He took my broken shoe, brought my ankle a bag of ice, and urged me to elevate it while his fixed my shoe. After he fixed it, he slipped it on my foot and strapped it across my swollen ankle in a manner befitting a kindly grandfather. He refused to take any money from me. He just said, “I hope you get the job and that your ankle heals quickly.”

daringgrace (at) gmail (dot) com

kdbrumbach said...

My stupid ankles, those bony knobs covered in tan skin flecked with the scabs of mosquito bites. They betrayed me.

While my face, jaw set firm declared, "I can handle you." My ankles, gently leaning outward pulling the soles of my feet off the ground quietly revealed, "I'm not so sure."

kdbrumbach AT gmail DOT com