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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good News Bad News

These are the words that greeted me in an e-mail Monday from the Tom Howard contest. My story had made it through the long list to the short list to the shorter list and then got commendable status. As writers we should be used to these types of contest responses, but it's never easy is it? We reveal ourselves on paper and then send it out for the world to see, knowing in our hearts that it's one of the best things ever written. Then the rejection letter comes. Making it to commendable status in the huge Tom Howard contest should be enough to make me dance in a field of daisies, but it was still a let-down.

For the past two days, I've been dredging my brain after reading and re-reading the story. What should I have done differently-a different word, less adjectives {my nemesis,} a typo? Was the reviewer having a bad day when (s)he shifted my ms to the commendable pile instead of the "still under review" pile? Does (s)he dislike peas? {My story is a humorous look at a pea sheller in the fifties.} Why oh why oh why? I am amazingly good at pity-parties.

Now I'm back on an even keel and planning to submit a new story to the contest in the fall. I'll show them. I'll write the best short story ever penned. I'll win a Pulitzer. I'll climb a mountain. You get the idea.

Check out the contest rules and send in an entry. The first prize is $3,000 - no small potatoes! And best of luck, but then if you win, I won't. Maybe I need to rethink this.

Remember: A blind hog can find an acorn once in a while. Mahala

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