Small Victories, Small Setbacks

Even though a lot of my author life has been put on hold as I travel back and forth from the hospital to take care of my dad, there are still some things coming out of the woodwork.

-Writers Guild Updates-

I became vice president of the Hannibal Writers Guild!  Heck yeah, man.  I was originally nominated for secretary, but VP is what I wanted.  Of course I would have loved president but I took the step back from it to let the founder of the guild be president (I probably wouldn't have won the majority anyway).

I am almost geared up to go to the Big River Steampunk Festival.  I will be helping to man the guild booth, but I'm as of yet unsure which days I will be there for it.  I was thinking Saturday and the first half or so of Sunday (I'd stay longer, but I don't want to leave my dad all alone in the hospital all weekend but I also don't want to have to drive back and forth every day when it's such a long drive).  I'll be dressed up in a steampunk costume, including a neat steampunk gun that I made out of a water gun.

-I Won a Contest!-

I entered a poetry contest three months ago before everything went crazy, and I won second place.  The news is a much needed win.  The prize of $75 is also a nice bonus, as the two hour drive to the hospital and eating on the road has been hard on my wallet.  I got back my entrance fee and twice that.  Hallelujah.  Officially have made a profit off of one of my writings, even if I'm still in the hole as a whole with all the Kindle Scout stuff.

It's was a small contest from the St. Louis Writers Guild, but this still feels like an Armstrong.  It's a small step for me, but a big leap forward for my writing career.  I don't feel like I can quite boast that I'm "an award winning author" with this one little contest, but it still feels pretty damn good. Unfortunately, I am unable to go to the reading of it and accept my award in person due to my car getting totaled (I'm okay, just banged up).

And without further adieu, here is my winning poem, "One of These Things."

Wild wind whispers in the wood;
Not much more makes movement.
Here and there critters creep
On pitter pattering paws.
The colorful, cool collage
Of leaves and lilacs leave
Sweet scents in the spring.
Lingering light leaks
Between barked branches
Onto moist, murky mud,
Reflecting on rubbish—
Coca Cola™ can.

If you didn't catch the "oh-so-subtle" meaning of this poem, it's trash talking littering (see what I did there?).  It's very much based off of my own experience.  I love hiking in deep, old woods, with giant hundreds-of-years-old trees and a carpet of leaves and the earthy smell of raw nature.  It's hard for me to get lost.  I have an internal compass that always unconsciously keeps track of which direction was the way I came in.  So to be deep in a woods where it feels like you've gone back in time to a world that mankind has not touched, and then you see that.  That glaring thing that doesn't belong (one of these things is not like the other...).  It punches you in the gut.  It ruins the beauty.  I might not go up and down roads picking up litter all the time, but when I go in the woods I take a plastic bag with me and if I find a Coca Cola can or other litter blemishing the beautiful landscape, I remove it.  And if I bring in a bottle of water or a snack wrapped in plastic, I take the trash back out with me.  I wish everyone else would do the same.

In a few months, I'm going to be entering a short story contest from the same guild and see if I can't win something there.  I'll be submitting my experimental story where I was toying with telling a tale outside of chronological order combined with my attempt at a Twilight Zone-equse story.  I don't know as though I'll submit more than one story or not.  All depends on what happens between now and then.

I have some more Dana Harts on the way, so stay tuned.

-Dana Lockhart


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