Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15: Poetry Contest, Waiting, On Edge

OK, I've set myself up for a really disappointing day.  Let me explain.

Several months ago, I submitted a chapbook of poetry for a contest.  The winner gets $1,000, publication this Fall, and 100 copies of his/her book.  Until a couple weeks ago, I'd completely forgotten about the competition.  Unfortunately, I did eventually remember.  I went to the contest's Website, and I found out that they're announcing the winner sometime TODAY.

Poetry is causing me stress today

Of course, I've tried to squelch my expectations.  Tell myself how many times I've entered contests like this one before and never made it past my entrance fee check being cashed.  However, I've been pretty unsuccessful trying to remain bitter, sarcastic, and pessimistic.  I've been thinking about that thousand bucks.  As you know, I've had quite a few expensive car repairs this summer.  Without having the income from teaching May through August, those repairs have drained our back account substantially.  The contest money would really come in handy.

Not to mention the fact that I'd like to publish another book to add to my list of writing accomplishments.  I'd love to go back to the university in a couple months and bask in 15 minutes of fame.  I've seen some pretty mediocre writers getting published in the last few years.  Maybe it's my turn.  (Not that I'm a mediocre writer.  I just mean it's time for a good writer to get published.  Me, to be exact.  You know what I mean.  Oh, never mind.)

As you can probably tell, I'm setting myself up for a really big let-down sometime in the next 24 or so hours.  I've tried to reason with myself.  I even looked up the work of the judge of the contest to see what kind of poetry he writes/likes.  His "stuff" is very different from the kind of poetry I write.  I know I'm not going to win, or I stand a very slim chance of winning.  I'm not trying to humble.  I'm trying to be realistic.

That's where I am this morning.  On edge.  Anxious.  Waiting.  Checking my e-mail every five minutes.  Obsessing.  Pretty much the way I am every day, multiplied by about a thousand.

Saint Marty needs to prepare himself for the bad news.  Wish him luck.

Waiting to open my empty present

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