Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

You voted. You called it. You’ve waited patiently and today’s the day for results in my More Than Words contest. If you were in the final five, you probably already know who won, but here’s the schiz for the masses:

More Than Words winner chart

So there you go – a huge congrats to Ryan for a story that resonated with friends, ErikaNapoletano.com readers and the ballot box stuffers down in Florida.

Now for the question-du-jour: WHAT THE HELL DID I WIN, LADY!?!!!

You will have to tune in Friday. It’s pretty nice. It doesn’t suck. You will like it, Ryan (and those who didn’t enter, wish they had or didn’t pul the votes will wish they were YOU). Call me a name or two or three: tease, damn tease, goddamn teasing whore. Your choice.

So congrats to you, Ryan. I’ve always believed that everyone has a story and your fellow storytellers all told theirs beautifully. Opening up to share a story takes balls. People will like it, hate it, not even read that shit and just vote because a friend told them to. So thank you to everyone who shared their story on the original post, stopped by to read My Story and drank in the finalists’ words like a drug. That’s really what writing is: a drug. Some days it’s a decongestant, others an antihistamine. More often than not, it’s a painkiller. But through every literary pill, it’s catharsis. A way for us to deal. There’s an element of us in each tale we tell and truth is always stranger than fiction (unless you’re Stephen King – in that case, your fiction is pretty goddamn strange and in the best way possible).

So, The Redhead thanks you – stop by the final poll and read the wonderful comments left by voters who shared why they voted for the story they did. It’s not often we get access to such candid feedback as writers – drink it it. Pop the pill. Tune in Friday for Ryan’s gifty-gift prize-o-matic.

10 comments
The Redhead
The Redhead

And I'm delighted to have you here as well, Sally - now tell us about the trip! :)

Sally G.
Sally G.

Congratulations Ryan ~ and to you too Joe Ray - it was a pretty tight race there at times. I'm grateful to have 'met' you both here and that we'll stay connected via Twitter. Thank you once again Ms. RedHead for hosting this fun event, showcasing super talent and providing space for us all to gather and meet. Suzy and Cara - I enjoyed your stories too and feel so lucky to have been included.

Mariano Franco
Mariano Franco

Thanks to both of you Ryan and Erika!!!Erika, I owe you gratitude for creating a community where we can be real like this and not have to dress up our writing up in a Brooks Brothers monkey suit so that we can "impress" people with our political correctness.Ryan, you get props for having the balls to come into a "Professional Community" and telling your story. Most people do everything they can to hide warts because they don't think that who they are in this moment, right fucking now, is enough. They live in the past and drive into the future using a rear view mirror to steer and when they inevitably crash again, they blame it on what happened to them way back then.I don't believe that's you, me or Erika.I also owe you big time too Ryan for letting me take a puff off of your courage to talk about something I've always hidden from any "Professional Community". Granted, your story led to an easy segue and that this is about as unconventional a "Professional Community" as you could find, we're all still pro's and this environment PLUS your candor allowed me get something off my chest that'd been weighing me down unnecessarily... all without cranking up the awkwardness level to 11.This was a small yet significant step in my ongoing development and quest to be a transparent human being who shows up to the party and brings massive value. Maybe it had a similar effect on you.Thanks again Ryan and Erika!!!

Ryan
Ryan

Mariano, thanks for taking me through your thoughts. I knew when I wrote that first line it was going to set the stage for good or bad. Everyone is OK when you use generic terms like "drugs" but you when you say something specific like "cocaine", it turns into completely different story.Keep the Faith. Like you said.. it can be beaten and even the darkest hour of our past and present can be used to teach and help us. Thanks again for the kind words and story. Means alot to me to read your story.

The Redhead
The Redhead

This - right here - is why I write. Everyone has a story and I'm grateful I've now heard one more that's so different from mine. Thanks, both of you - Ryan and Mariano.

Mariano Franco
Mariano Franco

Ryan, I cheated you. Kinda.When I saw "Cocaine" in the first line of your story, some bias in my mind automatically skipped over it. And not until I asked myself today why I didn't read your story, did I put two and two together. My brother is love with coke/meth and can only stay off when locked up. Weird. My dad joined AA almost 20 years ago and hasn't touched it, or alcohol since. My mom... my mom didn't quite make it. She died of a cocaine overdose. I used to be embarrassed as shit about the fact that she'd gone out like that and not talk about it. When it happened I was so naive, I didn't even know it was possible. There's probably a little bit of anger still brewing deep down but my appreciation for all the love she gave me is waaaay stronger which is what allows me face reality and be o.k. with the decisions she made. Hell, as I get older I'm coming to embrace the idea that everything's unfolding exactly the way it's supposed to and that's it's all good. Maybe her dying is the reason I've never touched cocaine. Who knows. What I do know is that everything and everyone has something to teach us... even if it's what NOT to do. I'm happy to hear that you're 10+ years clean and sober and wish the next 10 and many more to be the same. Also, I'm glad to hear that you've won this contest. I just read your story and can appreciate not only the content but the structure and how you wrapped it up in tight little package. Hopefully your story here and in your day to day life will help someone find their true path Ryan. Sorry I let my knee jerk emotions cheat you out of the vote :-) Congratulations and may your prize open up even more joy and fulfillment in your life!!!Mariano Franco

Joe Ray
Joe Ray

Congratulations, Ryan! Great story and great job of getting word out there too. Now, stay off the wrong drugs, stay on the good ones (like writin') and enjoy the free shit/free stuff. Congo Rats!!!

The Redhead
The Redhead

We all need prompts to unlock tucked-away crap. And I love me some painkillers. You just wait until Friday, laddie! Free shit RULES. Well, not "shit" but stuff. Yeah. Nobody wants free shit. Unless you're a farmer, I guess.And I'm glad your friends dig my content. The more people I can hook on the good drugs, the better.Congrats!

Ryan
Ryan

thank you very much! I think the big thing for me is how many of my friends that I sent out the link to responded back with how great all the stories were.. and that they loved your writing on the blog itself. Any time we can get more people hooked on "painkillers".. well that's a win in my book. But I'm not going to turn away the free stuff!Thanks again for the prompt to unlock some tucked away crap. I could use more of that on the weekly. And for those that i didn't know that voted for me (because God knows I don't have that many friends)... thank you.