Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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The Bet Rides Again

Catherine Ryan Hyde

My horse, Union RagsAnybody remember The Bet from last year? It started with my Twitter bud Brian Farrey musing on the Stephen King article in the Atlantic, in which King reveals that the short story "Herman Wouk is Still Alive" was written to satisfy a bet.

Apparently that's all you have to tell four crazy writers. Brian (With or Without You), Kimberly Pauley (Sucks to be Me), Andrew Smith (Stick, The Marbury Lens) and I went crazy and created The Bet, which shall heretofore (how's that for a fun word) be known as The Bet #1. We each chose a horse in the Kentucky Derby. For the purposes of The Bet, our horses were only running against each other, not the field as a whole. In other words, it didn't matter if my horse won. He won if he came in ahead of their horses.

Brian's horse, Done TalkingBrian's horse won, so Brian handed down a story title to Andrew, whose horse came in second in our pack of four. The title was, "Miss Candor Sends Her Regrets." Andrew handed me the lovely title, "The Art of Being Stuck Here." Because Kimberly Pauley had chosen the horse Uncle Mo, who was scratched for gastrointestinal trouble, I gave her "Uncle Mo's Gastrointestinal Tract," for which she still has not forgiven me. But hey, the whole story didn't have to be about anybody's gut. In fact, I wove a reference to Uncle Mo's tract into my story, just to show her how it could be done. But I don't think it earned me any points. I think I have to be kind with my title this year.

Yes, that's right. This year. Suddenly, without any real trackable cause, we all signed on to do it all over again. 

Kimberly's horse, Creative Cause

So, without further ado, here's the lineup. I've chosen Union Rags, Kimberly has chosen Creative Cause. Brian has Done Talking and Andrew has I'll Have Another.

You can read The Art of Being Stuck Here, the story I wrote for last year's bet, HERE. You can read the story I'll write for this year's bet (unless I'm the big winner) here, too, just not until the race has run. (And we've had time to write the damn things.)

Andrew's horse, I'll Have AnotherYou can read Brian's post about the bet at HIS BLOG. And Kimberly's at HER BLOG. And Andrew's at HIS BLOG.

And then you can stay tuned for this year's fun. If nothing else, it's three free short stories from authors you probably follow if you're reading one of our blogs.

Wish me luck (though losing is more fun than winning).

Talk more after Derby Day.