Last spring, I applied to a very prestigious writing conference, taught by writers whose work is routinely praised, if not revered, by the literary community. Rationally, I knew acceptance was a long shot. On the other hand, I figured the admissions committee probably wasn’t sitting around at night hoping I might grace them with my presence. The only way I’d have a chance was to apply. Continue reading
No two ways about it: 2018 has not been an easy year.
I say this as an individual and as a member of various groups. As a woman. A lawyer. A writer. A citizen. A Christian.
Last weekend, I started writing a blog post about my sweet Buddy. He was lying in my lap as I wrote, dozing and sometimes purring.
That post ended up getting bumped when a friend called to advise me of the horrible tragic death of someone I’d known as a friend and to whom she’d been much closer. I thought I had more time to write about Buddy.
I was wrong. At least if I wanted to write about him during his lifetime.
Judging others is tricky business. Being viewed as judgmental is nearly always negative. Criticizing someone’s art or craft—even when that’s what you’re paid to do—can lead to some spicy battles. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt. 7:1-2 NIV)
Which are some of the reasons I was a bit nervous when I agreed to serve as a judge in a short story contest (which we’ll call “The Contest”).
I’ve been submitting stories to contests and publications for nearly four years. While I have had some small successes, the rejections far outnumber the acceptances. Continue reading