Past and present tense
Writing sex and ringing tills

Win a signed copy of A Secret Alchemy or The Mathematics of Love... and the winner is...

So, what a great collection of entries! Click on the comment trail to see them all. Thank you everyone: it was very difficult to choose, but in the end, the winner is...

PAM JOHNSON for

Love multiplies by
alchemy; mathematics
of this secret realm.

The runner up is RODERIC VINCENT for

Alchemy of love
two fused as one when secret
mathematics work.

with an honourable mention to SOPHY for

Though alchemy's goal, I am told,
Was a new, secret way to make gold,
The mind's acrobatics
Of pure mathematics
Are still neither hoarded nor sold.

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Sunday 9th of November

Well, I said it was a silly competition, and it is, but I thought it might be fun. All you have to do is write a limerick or haiku - your choice - including as many of the words SECRET, ALCHEMY, MATHEMATICS and LOVE as you can. The winner will receive a signed copy of A Secret Alchemy, hot off the press and dedicated to them, or to that vital aunt, or whoever else they like. A runner-up will receive a signed copy of the paperback of The Mathematics of Love.

Deadline is midnight GMT (Californians and Kiwis please note) on Sunday 16th November 2008.

Post your entry in the comments on this post, and I'll keep them under wraps until I get judging. Feel free to post more than one entry. Marks will be given for Artistic Impression (making me laugh and/or cry (in Good Way)) and Technical Merit: rhyming, scanning and syllable counting are not optional. Long-term readers will know that all technical demands, however, become optional When It Works. The winning entries and all the others I like will be posted here after the judging.

STOP PRESS 11/11/8

I realise that the way I phrased things above, it looks as if you get more points for getting more words in, but of course in a haiku that only leaves seven syllables to spare. So I'll be impressed if you do get all four words in, in either form, but funny and/or clever and/or moving wins the day...

The Rules: I may extend the deadline. When judging I will choose the entry I like best: my decision is final and I reserve the right not get into discussions about it. All entrants grants me the right to publish their entries on this blog, but retain copyright in the entry. I reserve the right not to publish any entry at my discretion. There is no cash alternative (except that if that vital aunt obliges, via her executors). I will get in touch with the winner via the email address they post with their comment, so make sure it's one you check regularly. If I don't hear back within a reasonable length of time - say two weeks - I'll give your prize to someone else. I'll post the prizes, but can't be responsible for them arriving safely after that.

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