A Letter Arrives : ~
`Congratulations ! You have been chosen as one of the 50 finalists in the Over 18's category of Poetry Rivals 2010! We received over 8,000 entries ...
The letter continues ...
`We are pleased to invite you to the Poetry Rivals 2010 Slam Final ...
to p e r f o r m y o u r p o e m i n f r o n t o f t h e j u d g e s ... `
My vision blurs. My stomach whizzes around like a washing machine on spin. My nerve ends feel like someone is pushing millions of the tiniest pins into my skin. I put the letter on one side, hoping it will go away, slip itself sleekly into the bin when I'm not looking.
I spent most of the following morning wishing my husband would mistakenly scoop up the letter, directions and confirmation form with his papers, perhaps lose them. I passed on subliminal messages to the kids, hoping they would unknowlingly use the back of the map for scrap paper or paper planes.
A week later, the letter continued to glare at me from my writing desk [as opposed to my work desk where I try to earn some money to allow me to spend much of the week practising writing ~ ha !].
The next day, I received a phone call. Would I be performing at the Poetry Slam? How many excuses could I think of not to? Actually, none. Not even a pathetic see-through one. I would be completely available on Saturday 2nd April 2011.
But Peterborough is a long way [although I could get there with a long drive or 3 trains part-funded by expenses offered]. Yet the finalist does receive a publishing contract with Bonacia Ltd. And there are 50 finalists in the `Over 18's category.`
Yes, I understand this is just an opportunity for showcase stuff ~ and yes, achieving status as `one of the fifty`, I still have to purchase my own copy of Slam Finalists for ``only £7.99`` But everytime I enter a poem into this type of publication, it gets accepted and noticeable as the amount of bookshelf space is absorbed. So, are there really 8,000 submissions? Or just 50? And why, if there are 8,000 for the same competition, do I keep on criticising my work, thinking it's not worthy of acclaim?
Meanwhile ... I'm just about to fill in the reply form. Shall I go? Or should I get on with editing my children's novel for the nice lady from a publishing company in Canada who is interested in reading the edited mss?