Most Improved Author
::Backstage: A small group of guests gather around a small blue auto. Most appear to be drooling as they look under the hood. A smug-looking Bearcat is providing details about his "Toy"::
Bock's car: It's a side-oiler 427 with 12:1 pistons and dual Holley 4 barrels. She's got a close ratio, top loader 4-speed and heavy duty positraction rear end. There's about 600hp on tap. She'll go from zero to 100, back to zero in about 15 seconds.
::As bock's continues to brag, he notices that his audience has shifted its focus behind him. Turning around, he finds himself mere inches from a pair of lovely, although angry, blue eyes::
Bock's: Uh.... Hi, Lahwhiney.
Lahwhinie: Don't you 'Hi, Lahwhiney', me! I remember what you did last year.
Bocks: It wasn't just me.
Lahwhinie: Yeah, but you're the one I'm talking to now. You owe me big time, Capish?
::bock's look around, but it appears that any help has left for safer ground. Though much larger than the irate mouse, he decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and attempts a "diplomatic" solution::
Bock's: What did you have in mind?
::Still peeved, the mouse looks past the cringing bearcat::
Lahwhinie: Nice car.
::Heaving a tremendous sigh, and smiling as best he can, he holds out the keys::
Bock's: You know how to drive a stick?
Lahwhinie: I'll manage.
::The petite mouse snatches the keys and, now wearing a cheerful smile, she places a quick kiss on the Bearcat's cheek::
Lahwhinie: That wasn't so bad, now. Was it?
Bock's: Depends...... You won't hurt my car?........ will you?
::Lawhiney hops into bock's Cobra and fires up the engine::
Lahwhinie: I've learned not to make promises I may not be able to keep. Toodles!
::In a cloud of tire smoke, Lawhiney heads for the backstage exit and departs the building. With the immediate danger past, Greyhound Bus comes up beside bock's::
GB: Dude! You let her take your car!
Bock's: Dude! She let me keep my spleen!
::Indy approaches the scene, and although worried about the Award schedule, can't help but to offer "condolences"::
Indy: This is indeed a tragic turn of events. But you know what they say..... "On with the Show". Oh, bock's..... you're on in ten!
Indy: No, your line starts, "Writing, of any kind, is an art…"
::bock's turns and rushes toward the stage, hoping to salvage his presentation. With "Drive My Car" playing in the background, bock's car walks up to the podium::
Bock's: Before I begin...... I'm going to need a ride back to my hotel after the ceremonies. I seem to have developed car trouble. I hope the "Trouble" remembers to put gas in the tank.
::A few good-natured chuckles come from the audience::
Bock's: Writing, of any kind, is an art. The best writers seem to make it look easy..... and for some, perhaps it is. For others, it's like climbing a mountain. Regardless, any writer can improve their work. It might be a small change, such as omitting unneeded details. Or, it could be a major change, like adopting a different style of writing. Perhaps from comedy to drama. Tonight, we honor the writer whom we feel has improved their work the most.
The nominees are:
· Charles Roberts
· Midnight Man
Bock's: All good choices. And the winner for "Most Improved Author" is:
::Bock's opens the envelope, again delivered by Zipper::
Bock's: Well, more improvement going on than I thought. RangerReady and CCC, come on up!
::The winners come to the stage to accept their awards and bock's car's congratulations. Bock's waves to the crowd and exits stage left. RangerReady, the fedora'd mouse, bounds onto the stage with a look of shock on his face::
R/R: Another one?! Golly!!
Thank you all. To be declared the most improved author is a great honor indeed...because it shows that you've made progress down the road from where you started...and it shows the confidence of the community, and their willingness to bear with you while you learn. Thank you all!
::CCC walks up on stage to accept
CCC: Ladies -
::There's a crashing sound from backstage. Nightbloom is seen crossing the stage at full speed, followed by Rogue; the fly is carrying two anti-magic shields of different diameters and ensuring that the evil mage bat stays between them::
CCC: - and gentlemen, I'd like to say, um, well, mainly I'd like to say thanks.
::Rogue flies across the stage again, in the opposite direction, this time followed by Nightbloom, who has her mouth open and noticeable predatory intentions::
CCC: This award was somewhat unexpected, to say the -
::There's a crashing sound from backstage, as if someone hit a bat over the head with a wooden object::
CCC: - least.
::CCC suddenly seems to realize that no-one is paying much attention to him::
CCC: Oh, ignore her... she's just a bit unhappy over our attempts to proactively prevent her from causing a disruption during the ceremony.
::Nightbloom staggers onto the stage, a lump rising on her head, and collapses. Pick and Lad carry her off stage again. Lad is, for some reason, carrying a baseball bat over one shoulder. One presumes that he hit the bat with the bat::
CCC: With... mixed success, I suppose.
::For a few moments, everyone waits to see if that will be all the disruption. Apparantly, it is::
CCC: I suppose that really, this is the one award that could be seen as barbed, considering what it says about my early work... but I think I know exactly what I did wrong in A Mary Sue/Gary Stu Story. I didn't have a proper plotline worked out in advance, just a rough idea.
::He grins at the audience::
CCC: Never underestimate the amount by which proper planning can improve quality. It's...
::He holds up the "Most Improved Author" acorn::
CCC: ...quite substantial.
::He looks down at his cue cards::
CCC: And there are just a few people I'd like to thank.
::He unrolls a list. It's long enough to reach the front rows of the audience::
::There's a brief whispered consultation with the emcee::
CCC: Apparantly it would be appreciated if I could summarize a little. So, in broad categories; thanks to the people who put the Rangers on the air...to Loneheart and Fish, whose well-known works helped to persuade me to
register at the Cafe... to all the people who read and comment on my stories, I do read them all and sometimes a comment has resulted in a change in a future chapter, or a future story... and to all those people who, in a myriad of little ways, made the Cafe possible in the first place. To all of you... thank you. Without you, my stories would doubtless never have happened. Thank you.
::With a nod to the audience, CCC leaves the stage in an orderly manner::