A baby, a novella

20140411-IMG_5769A second set of sticky notes about books is nearly ready to post, as promised, but I’m going to interrupt that brief series with two recent happenings in my life.

First was the birth of another granddaughter! I visited the family in B.C. for ten days, to help as best I could in a busy household with a new baby and returned with warm memories of the lovely child (who bears the distinguished name Honor) and many memories of the other children as well. Choice sayings by the nearly-three-year-old, for example, moments of closeness initiated by a child who tends to self-containment, and so on. Things a grandparent gathers and chuckles over or ponders upon.

Then there was the news from The Malahat Review. The novella contest this journal holds every other year gave me a deadline for my story “Mask”, and the entry fee was a year’s subscription to one of Canada’s finest literary magazines, so why not try. One never submits without hope, of course, and I worked like crazy on that story, feeling as thin and fragile as glass by the time I was finally done. Hope, I’ve discovered, is not necessarily the same as expectation, however. Submission, sometimes rejection, sometimes acceptance, that’s the way it rolls in the writing world.  But here it was, the letter said I’d won. I walked around the house for some time, shaking. (Since the official announcements were pending, I could tell only my nearest and dearest and he was out of reach, ice fishing on Lake Winnipeg!) Glad for myself, I’ll admit, but for the story too, getting its moment in print and some readers. I hope this isn’t too much crowing, especially in a week when one is cautious of crowing, roosters, etc., but I’m deeply grateful and also want to acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council last fall to work on “Mask” and other stories.WAC-logo-thumbnail_144_131_70

Since many of you already know of these events via other venues and have responded (thank you!), I’ve disabled comments for this column. I wish you all a safe and blessed Holy Week and Easter.