Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Place Winner!

It's the day after the day I decided to retire from writing, when I hear from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association that my adult short story, Bakersfield Baptism, won first place in the 2009 Literary Contest.

I thought it didn't have a chance.

It's the only adult piece I've ever written. And I didn't make it to the awards ceremony two weeks ago; instead, I went to my cousin's beautiful wedding, where she invited me to read a piece of magic from The Alchemist, and where two of my three kids threw up on me.

But Bakersfield Baptism had power. I knew it. It's a camouflaged personal story: How could a woman ever live with the loss of her child, if there were anything she could do to prevent it? What would be her vessel for forgiveness?

The two critiquers raved about the 14-page story. One was really, truly, deeply affected.

Before I had sent it in, I read it aloud one more time. To Dominic. Who cried. This writing stuff is tricky. Not the writing exactly, but all the other stuff.

Look for a sign, I told myself in bed last night.

And here it is.

Now I need to think about what it means, and what to do with it.

Thank you, PNWA, for the hope. For giving Gracie Mae a living chance. I love you.


Christy Raedeke said...

You can't "retire" when you're a writer! You just keep doing it and eventually it will sell. This is more than a sign, it's a bonfire of hope to light your way. Big congratulations to you!

Jennie Englund said...

Okay, a bonfire!

You bring the marshmallows. God knows I've got the chocolate.

Thanks, Christy.

You're a wizard.