“Awesome” or “awesomeness” are not words I usually use, but I’m drawn to use “awesomeness” today (October 10) after my short story won first place in a contest our local writers’ group put on. Granted, it’s a small group and there were only six entries, but I’m stoked (another new word for me).

Truly stoked and shocked!

Of course, I wanted to win (who doesn’t?), but I truly did not think I would, especially after I read the other fantastic entries. Three were excellent; the other two not so much, in my humble opinion. I cannot judge my own work, so I didn’t know how my story fared against the other five, but I figured I might come in third or fourth place.

The members rated the stories – first, second and third – even though there was only a prize for the first place. Results were supposed to be given at the September meeting, but then an email was sent around that results would be postponed to October to allow all the members to be present. Since I had previously shot off an email that I’d be away for the September meeting, a fleeting thought flashed through my head – maybe I won and that’s why the results are being postponed.

But, no, there’s no way I won, not with those other three entries far superior to mine.

So, the meeting was today (October 10).

“I’m going to start with third place, then second place, then announce the winner,” Bob said.  “Perhaps the winners could read their own submissions.” Or some such words.

I was shocked when the third place winner was revealed. It was the story I had picked for first place. Although not my genre of story, it was so well written I was compelled to give it first place.

I experienced another stunning moment when second place was revealed. Although it was an okay story, it wasn’t my choice. What’s with this group? I wondered.

Then I had another flash – jeepers, maybe I did win after all. But, no, I immediately rationalized. There were still those other two stories I had picked for second and third place. For sure one of them would be announced.

I tried to peek at the sheets in front of Bob to see if mine was there. I had actually tried to peek earlier, when he shuffled them around to announce the third place. No such luck, though; my eyesight doesn’t allow me to see that far. Plus, he did his best to conceal them.

“And the winner is…” he began, “…Cathy for ‘Afterward’.” It was a surreal moment, stunning me for a fraction of time. I couldn’t believe how calm I was, glad I hadn’t bolted from my chair and screeched in glee.

Granted, this isn’t a huge award, but I couldn’t wait to get home to share my accomplishment with SOMEONE, although I knew the house would be empty! Little things excite me, I guess. Plus, I haven’t written a winning “anything” for a long time.

I’m still floating…still stoked. So awesome!



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