A few months ago, I entered a writing contest. That was a new (and scary) thing for me to do.
Because I don’t usually write about anything other than what you see here.
I wrote in a new genre for me. It’s kind of like listening to your favourite rock n’ roll singer try their hand at a country song. It could go either way right?
However, as an artist, and whatever your art, even if your art is in how you live your life and what you do for work (and it REALLY is art … your work + life, I mean), failures and successes are one in the same.
‘Cause you just don’t know which is which in the end.
So, a writing contest was new territory for me and I’m not sad that I didn’t win … well, not after about ten minutes of reflection anyway.
I thought I would be though – sad I mean. I expected to be. I wanted to be because then I would make sense to myself.
So, like WTF?
(Ah … more reflection.)
I didn’t write to win.
I wrote to include myself in the real world of writing (whatever that is, it felt real).
I didn’t write to allow someone else to judge me as good or bad at writing.
I wrote to articulate something that needed expressing in me.
I didn’t write to try to be good or better than other people.
I wrote to honour my creativity.
I didn’t write to get approval to keep writing.
I wrote to know that writing really is something that I want to do. Without question.
I did it for me.
And just because I didn’t win, it doesn’t mean that I can’t share what I wrote.
(You might want to get comfy … or not.)
But first …
You might (not) know that once upon a time I lived in Sweden for awhile and even claimed Swedish as my official second language (because I worked so damn hard to learn it).
I was engaged to a Swede, Johan*, who had moved to Vancouver to live with me. We were together for six years in total nearly to the day.
The story that I wrote, the story that I submitted to the writing contest, is a snippet of perhaps something bigger. Maybe it’s the start of telling the whole story. If not for anyone else, then just for me. Because it’s what I would want to read. You see, Johan and I never got married. And everyone present at the event now refers to it as the “un-wedding” (you’ll learn what that is exactly when you read the story).
The story is called Orange Sky.
It’s called Orange Sky because the photographer gave me a CD with a slideshow of the event. The song she picked to go with the photos was called, Orange Sky. I had never heard it before. And it was perfect. I guess there really is a song for every moment. The story + the song go together. At least to me.
(And until this story becomes a movie, this’ll have to do.)
This short tale is a window into my friendship with my ex-future-father-in-law . Got that?
Without further ado, it’s the story that didn’t win, but is nonetheless worth sharing.
Oh and one last thing. Thank you. (Feels a bit piddly to say, but really, I mean it.)
Thank you for meeting me here – in your inbox or on this page. You should know that it is because you read what I write, that I got the inspiration and courage from you to share it.
Read the story here.
* I changed the name to respect his privacy. It felt like the right thing to do and it doesn’t change a thing.
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