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Friday, 29 August 2014

The only cure for vanity is laughter, and the only fault that's laughable is vanity. - Henri Bergson

Some of you know, I regularly enter short story competitions, and those that write fiction know that each time you write, you fall slightly in love with the characters (even the wicked ones). So every time their tale of woe is deemed uninteresting or their beautifully crafted history is rejected because it's just not good enough, there is a small sting, because you really thought this time, you were in with a chance....

So it was with high hopes I opened the email from the Hunter Writers Centre...but this time, instead of the instantaneous sinking feeling that usually follows, I learned that my little story had been long listed and would be published in the anthology. I was thrilled! I have been published and translated online, but never in cold hard print. For an old lady like me, print means more (even though intellectually, it shouldn't, and wouldn't, if I was a hip young thing).

I am eagerly awaiting the copy of the book I ordered.

Now for the honest, greedy confession...while I was on a high for a few weeks about making the book and being long listed, I then desperately wanted to be shortlisted...and in with the running at the prizes...not for the money, it was purely driven by ego.

By the time the night came, I knew intellectually I would have received an email, but I still half hoped there was some chance I'd look at the site and discover I'd made the cut.

I hadn't. I can laugh at the fact that what I was thrilled with as a first for me, and huge compliment, was in a few weeks usurped with desire for more. This is one of the great flaws in us humans. We quickly stop appreciating what we have.

This morning, I am happy again just to be published, and I am celebrating that achievement. I also have an idea for an Aesop style fable, based on my own vanity.

I am glad I can see the irony of my thinking, because without that self awareness it would actually ruin the moment of success for me. I would have spoilt the experience all by myself.

I leave you with a quote I've shared with a few other bloggers of late, and yet still needed it said to myself last night.

"I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else.
I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." -Ken Venturi

Linking up With Some Grace


19 comments:

  1. Congratulations on being long-listed! This post rings true with me. Here I am, spoiling the feeling of getting good feedback from readers of by book with thoughts of wanting more people to rate it.

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  2. Great quote! And I know exactly the feelings you describe ... always wanting more ... sigh!

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  3. Congratulations Lydia, that's awesome! Please tell us where we can purchase the book and read your work. Well done!

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  4. Congratulations on getting published! Awards can fade but you've got your work published in a hard cover book. I got a poem published when I was 12 and I still tell people lol!

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  5. As humans we do always want more - it is unfortunately, human nature. Congratulations on being long listed and published - that is definitely something to celebrate!

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  6. Woo hoo, persistence pays off, I'm very happy for you x

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  7. I think it must be part of who we are, always wanting more or better or to go further. Well done on making the cut.

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  8. I love the quotes that you put with your blog posts. They are always so enlightening.

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  9. WOOHOOOOO - go you !!!! Know when I answer some question from someone that goes "Do you know someone famous ?" I can honestly answer yes, because I do know you and you have made the long list !!!!!
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

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  10. Congratulations on being long listed and published.

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  11. Reading this again, different words jumped out at me. I am a hip young thing (???) and I still think that there is something extra special about being published in traditional media. I think that this traditional recognition is still held to a higher standard. It is so amazing that you have this opportunity.
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #thankfulthursday!

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  12. Wow! What an achievement - congratulations!
    Those are some great quotes are they not?

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  13. OMG!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations. That is awesome. What a feeling. I saw that quote this week and it rang true for me too. We can be our own worst enemies.

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  14. Congratulations Lydia! That's fantastic. You know I'm exactly the same. But I don't think it's vanity. I think it's being optimistic. I love that last quote. I'm very happy for you :)

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  15. That's kind, but I don't think optimism involves having a little sulk cos you didn't make the list...BUT at least I could laugh about it!

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  16. Congratulations! That's so exciting. Awesome quote, too x

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  17. That's pretty cool! Well done! - PKM

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  18. Yes - it is totally a human thing to want more and more.... so glad you realised and stood back and enjoyed your victory!!! Huge congrats!!! That is so exciting!!!

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  19. Congratulations! Very cool to be published in print!

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