Today is a cold, rainy November day in my area of Germany. BLAH! I spent most of the morning and afternoon away from home. Upon returning I had a few surprises.
I hadn't read my email or FB messages yesterday. Also, I hadn't checked the prompt for the November chapbook challenge that I am participating in this month over at Poetic Asides. Each day Robert Lee Brewer (n poet, editor at Writer's Digest, and all-around nice guy) posts a new prompt and you write a poem to it. This year the prompts are being offered by former participants/poets around the world. After November is over, everyone has time to make revisions and submit the best of his/her work as a chapbook. Each year Robert picks a winner and several runners-up. If this sounds like something for you, CLICK HERE to go to the Poetic Asides website. It's not too late to join in on the fun.You'll need to register, but it is free and you'll meet a great bunch of people.
Anyway, I decided to go online. The first thing I did was check email. The first email I opened was an acceptance for one of my poems for an upcoming anthology. Well, how awesome is that! The second I opened was a message from Robert notify me that he used my prompt for today's prompt in the chapbook challenge. That figures. It's the first day I didn't go to read the new prompt right after my morning coffee. I had no idea. But after some time I decided to go there anyhow. And (cringe) I found a typo. And it wasn't Robert's fault. It was mine.That wasn't a good surprise. I had debated on which word to use part of the sentence and left an XXXXX. I had intended to go back and fill that in with a word, but somehow is the hustle and bustle of the day I must have forgotten before pushing the send button. DUH! So if you are also participating and were thinking "what the heck does XXXXX mean?" it means that Linda's brain is slowly beginning to fizzle :-)
Then I read my Facebook messages and quickyl scanned the many posts I've missed the past 48 hours. I am taking part in a poetry contest from Painted Bride Quarterly called Sidecar 15. The winner is determined by the number of Facebook "likes". I never really liked that method for contests. Call me crazy but I actually prefer when an editor is the judge. That is not to say that I don't think other people can make good decisions on what is well-written. I think most of the people voting are writers, so they have a clue. But I prefer being judged by someone who does it on a regular basis and not peers. I, as a peer, hate judging. I feel bad if I don't "like" someone's work because as a writer myself I know that each little poem (or whatever it is you are writing) is like your very own baby, all grown up, being set out into the world. A cruel world at times. Though I've been published, I've had my share of rejections. Some I take with a grain of salt, but others sting. To me not pushing the "like" button is like a rejection, and I'd hate to be giving that sting to someone else. In fact, I "liked" several of the other "competitors" poems because I honestly liked them. However, I know other poets (not going to name names) who would never do that, because they want to win. Badly. Doesn't everyone who enters a contest want to win? But that's not my style. If work is good, I acknowledge that. In fact, there was one poem I really liked which didn't have many votes. I "liked" it and left a comment for the author. Would she do better if judged by an editor? Who knows? Maybe. Maybe not. These things are always subjective. Like I said, I just prefer it that way. Call it personal preference and nothing else. But the judging is by "likes" and so it goes. I don't make the rules. I just need to follow them. That said, I am doing well anyway. Most of the votes are from women which isn't very surprising because the character in the poem is a woman. It deals with a problem we all face sooner or later. Aging. I had been in second place standing for a few days and in checking out the event page I saw that I am currently in the lead. I am not getting my hopes high though. One man (a FB friend of mine) has written a wonderful "found poem" using several political texts. It must have been time consuming to write, and it turned out well. There are others with good work as well. I am not sure when voting ends. I didn't notice that in the rules anyway. Maybe I overlooked it. I guess that will be another surprise.
Another nice surprise is that when my husband called his parents, he learned that the package we sent arrived. We'd sent one earlier which they never received, went out and purchased the same items again, and sent the package insured. It costs me and arm and a leg which is not good if one is a writer (yeah, I know, that's a really, really bad joke) but this isn't the first time a package has been "lost". Christmas presents never arrived last year either. These were the first instances in almost 12 years of overseas shipments that we ever had a problem but it certainly is frustrating when one take the time to fine "the perfect gift" for everyone and then they are lost, not only due to the cost but also since some of the items can no longer be replaced. So I was very thankful it arrived.
All these surprises have made a gloomy rainy Saturday seem so much nicer. In fact, my teenager daughter has been in a good mood all day and right now my husband (who is totally awesome) is in the kitchen making homemade beef stock. Now if only I would win the lottery then I could fly to the states to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I don't get back home much due to the expense. But that's life and I am thankful for all these little things along the way. And tomorrow is Sankt Martinstag in Germany so I do get to enjoy a meal of duck, bread dumplings with mushroom sauce, and red cabbage. What will you be doing tomorrow?