I won the DarkWinter Literary Magazine First Anniversary Contest which I’m really grateful for and I’m taking a moment to brag a bit and have a celebratory root beer float. This is not my first publication—I had a poem published in DarkWinter Lit previously and it’s a magazine I really enjoy, with great writing, so I hope to have more there in the future. I’m also still so proud to have been included in the Static Dreams anthology, and I’ve had work published elsewhere. I’m saying this at least partly because I had some old friends congratulate me on winning the contest by saying “It must be great to finally be published!”
Of course there’s more to the story. There’s always more to every story. If you’ve seen The Graduate you know that—mild spoiler alert—at the end Ben and Elaine sit at the back of the bus with looks on their faces that clearly say, “Well, what happens now?”
That’s the funny thing about being a writer, or in any artistic profession. I guess it extends even to most professions. It’s impossible to sit still. Although for artistic professions it’s not so much “What happens now?” as it is “What do I do now?”
Also I got the word that I’d won on Friday afternoon but the announcement wasn’t made until Monday. While I was keeping it a secret a friend of mine shared a story of a mermaid statue that’s causing a stir in an Italian town for being “too provocative.”
I said, “Where are her cranial fins? Or her gills? It’s like the artists have never seen a real mermaid!”
My friend shot back, “What do you know about mermaids?”
All I could do was sit there with a look on my face that clearly said, Just you wait… And immediately after that I was watching TV and a trailer for the new live action The Little Mermaid came on.
That’s not relevant to anything I’ve been talking about but it is a funny story and it’s important to never pass up a chance to share one of those.
What is relevant is that it’s a success like this that pushes me forward, that makes me want to do whatever comes next, and whatever comes after that. Billie Jean King said, “Pressure is a privilege,” and it’s times like this that I understand what she meant.
But first I’m going to finish my root beer float.
Congratulations and so-well-deserved! It must have been hard to stay mum about it all weekend???? Cheers to you raises stein full of root beer and ice cream
Staying mum was so difficult but also part of the fun of it! Although I did tell my wife under the promise of secrecy and later that Friday she said to me, “You made me lie to my mother.”
Anyway here’s to another root beer float.
That’s so awesome!
Thank you so much!
Major congratulations, Chris! I read your first story and now I need to read what got you the top props. I’d heard about the mermaid but thought it was her backside that was the issue. Don’t remember why. Keep going strong, my friend! You deserve all good things! Woo Hoo! Mona ????
I’m trying not to think about the mermaid’s backside. Or frontside. There are just some things we humans aren’t meant to contemplate. The fun part of this story was when I sent an early draft to a friend and he said, “The part about the eggs is gross” and that’s when I knew I had to leave it in.
Congratulations, Chris, well done! I just randomly pop in after literal years absent and here you are winning awards and whatnot. That’s so cool. It’s also cool that you’re writing fiction, cos so am I! But hope to return to blogging -writing AND reading – soon. See you! xx
Michelle! It’s wonderful to hear from you again. I hope you return to blogging too but mostly I’m just glad you’re doing well! I hope I get to read some of your fiction soon.
Congratulations, Chris! You deserve every award and recognition you get. Whatever you do next, I’m there for it.
Thank you so much and I’m already working on whatever’s next.