Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't Stop Believing

  The Charmed One stumbled upon a local writing competition here in Podunk. Unfortunately we found it late. Like three days until deadline late. And it so happened to be the weekend my niece came over. Naturally I wanted to spend every minute doing things with her and not writing. Even after we dropped her back off I found it hard to concentrate on a writing competition because I was tired, and I had a blog to write!

  Fortunately it was another short story competition. The story was to be around 750 words. (Yes it had the squiggly sign in front of the 750.) That was less than the last one, which was 900 words, so the Charmed One thought I could take that story and shorten it. Silly, silly Charmed. Is one really able to tell a story in that few words? I had a hard enough time cutting twenty words out of the 900 word short, there was no way I could cut more than that and have it make much sense. So Monday morning I got up and started plugging away at the short story. It had to be postmarked that day so I didn’t have much time. I did my best putting a story together in my head, then onto the computer. When I was finished I only had to narrow it down by about 15 words. Afterwards, because the deadline loomed, I sent it to the Charmed One to read over. Normally I send my stuff to a couple of friends, but this time I didn’t have time.

  Although I felt okay about what I wrote, I still wasn’t the happiest about it. That is until I walked into the Charmed One’s office. I noticed the story I wrote there on the computer. My nerves tingled a little in anticipation. Those nerves disappeared when I saw tears in the Charmed One’s eyes. I didn’t think it was a sad story. It had sad undertones, but the outcome was a happy one.

  The Charmed One asked, “Why do you write sad stories?”

  I stood dumbfounded. I didn’t expect that story to bring on that type of reaction, but when it did I felt different myself. I started thinking maybe it was a good story. I felt some small form of redemption as a writer knowing that it created an emotion like that in a not-so-emotional person.

  I am reminded of when I was in college. In a mandatory English class everyone had to take a state test. If you failed the test you failed the class. The test was nothing more than writing three paragraphs. My English teacher took two weeks worth of class to prepare us for it. Other people in class would critique our writings and I never got really great critiques. Then it came time for the test. I walked in, received instructions, and picked a seat. I chose one facing windows, a Zen thing. I knew I did well, but I was not prepared for the actual results. A couple of weeks after the test I received an email from my English teacher. In it she explained that I had achieved a perfect score on the test. The next time the class met she told the class of my accomplishment. Inside I felt that my smile ran from ear to ear.

  After seeing the expression on the Charmed One’s face, and thinking about that test in college, I know that even though at times I doubt myself there is something there. I feel better in myself even if I did make someone cry! Even if I don't win that competition I won something more. Belief in myself.

  *For the record not all of my writing is sad. The Charmed One and I even laughed because I am generally a joking type of person.

Do you live in a big or small city/town? What have you accomplished that brings a smile to your face? Do you ever doubt your talents? 

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