Jun 30th 2010 By Jeremy Taylor
It's a writing award that most authors would want to avoid. However, novelist Molly Ringle found a silver lining in being the 28th annual recipient of the Bulwer-Lytton
prize for the worst opening sentence of a novel.
"You kind of have to have a certain amount of skill to write a sentence so bad it would win," the Seattle-based Ringle explained.
"You have to work at it."
Here is the result of that hard work on her novel "The Ghost Downstairs," and the Bulwer-Lytton winner:
"For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss -- a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil."
According to Ringle, she thought of the rodent metaphor as she nursed her infant son, and was reminded of how a pet guinea pig suckles on its bottle.
Somehow, knowing that context makes her sentence all the more wretched.