Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taking Second...


I just got word that I won second place in the Fort Bend Writers Guild short story contest!

I'm very happy about it, and I want to thank all of my friends in the Humble Writers group for encouraging me and for helping refine the story into something that actually doesn't make judges violently ill, as apparently other submissions of mine have in the past.

I submitted a story called "Sheltered Path" which is the same story I'm submitting to my local writing group for our group publishing effort entitled "Split." "Split" is a collection of dichotomies- stories with vastly different subjects but common themes such as War and Peace, or Night and Day. My individual story deals with the dichotomy of Victim/Offender and I was very happy to get a second place nod for it.
....Well, sort of....

When it comes to writing contest, there is a lot left to interpretation. If you manage to win a slot in the top 3, then it's usually a given that your story was good, but didn't quite meet the expectations of the judges, or it just isn't the type of story that appeals to them. In effect, coming in second or third is as good as a win in my book.

....except that it isn't first.....

I watched part of "Taladega Nights: The legend of Ricky Bobby" last night, and the main character lived by a misguided philosophy that if "you're not first- you're last." The emphasis of always winning or coming in first can be a real emotionally crippling disease, and I'm afraid that I might just have to go and get myself fitted for some emotional crutches, because I know that coming in second is as good as a win.... but it sure ain't FIRST!

Okay. I need to get over it. I'm honored that I placed as well as I did. Two other writers from my group also placed in the short, short story contest. The story had to be less than 5 hundred words, and, (can you believe it?) they tied for 3rd. I'm very happy for them also, but I know they are secretly wondering "why wasn't mine just that much better than hers?" They won't admit it.....oh, but I know....it goes through your mind.

At least I don't have to share my honor with someone else, so coming in second is starting to look pretty good right now. Besides, who goes back for "firsts?" You go back for "seconds." And sometimes you go back for "Thirds," ...but not when anyone is looking. So, don't worry. I'm good. Second place is just fine.

- but it still isn't first....


PS. I'll post the story in a future blog. I hope you enjoy it, and that you can see for yourself the incredible genius of my prose and wonder aloud, as I have, why it didn't merit first place. Then, I want you to write your congressman, and plead for him to revoke the charter for the Fort Bend Writers Guild.
...what a bunch of hacks.