So, I did a something about a month ago. I entered a poem into a big contest. Not one of those for-kicks-and-grins kind of contests, this one has a $2000 grand prize. I didn’t tell anyone about it. Honestly, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal and there was a wait period of about two weeks before I would know if my poem had been accepted. It was an electronic submission which then automatically setup a profile for me on the website. So, I filled out the profile info and then uploaded a few poems. And then I left it alone and forgot about it.
Things have been going slowly downhill for me. Life is getting to a point where I feel as if giving up might be my best option. I’ve thought about waving my white flag to the universe and surrendering to its forces. Not that I actually ever do give up. My inherent nature is to never quite give in. To quote Alexandre Dumas: “Do your worst, for I shall do mine.” That might as well be my motto though I really never do my worst, only my best. Still, I think you get the point.
So, when I say that I have come closer to giving up recently than ever…believe me. I am taking a huge beating lately. I’ve needed something to give me hope and lighten the weight I am carrying. That’s why when I checked the mail yesterday and found a letter from a publishing company I didn’t recognize I really didn’t think much of it. I thought it was simply another magazine company wanting my business. That is, until I noticed that above my name in the address window there was an specific comment. It was a poet ID number. It said that actually. It made me stop and wonder why I had one. And then I opened it and read the letter.
Fellow Lunatics, Yours Truly is a semifinalist in the contest I entered a month ago! Get this. Not for the poem I actually entered into the contest but for Beyond the Fog which is one of the ones I’d uploaded on my profile for the site. Someone apparently read it and felt it was appropriate for the theme for the anthology they publish twice a year, and as such they felt it was worth entering into their contest. They sent me the official entry form and I filled it out and put it into the post last night. I was beside myself with joy. I’m still a bit gobsmacked.
The contest runs from July to December so I won’t know anything until probably next year. The letter I received stated that within the next month I should receive my Author’s Proof of my poem. I’m supposed to check it over, make changes, sign it and return it. Not all semifinalists are published but about 60-70% are so they still have to have everyone check an Author’s Proof. Still, this is exciting. It would be incredible to see my name in print in an actual book of poetry among other poets. It’s like the universe declaring “Jesi, thy name is poet!”
And the thought that keeps running through my head is “I wish I could show this to Mrs. Humphries”, the teacher responsible for inspiring and encouraging me to write poetry. Although, I have no idea if she’d remember that shy little girl.
Keep dreaming, my friends. The ones that are meant to be do come true.