I slaved and slaved for hours and hours to finish my latest story and guess what? Having completed this definite prize-winner I find there are no suitable competitions looking for entries. The season is over.
By a ‘suitable competition’ I mean a modest little affair, not one with huge cash prizes. Being a ‘kept woman’ of modest desires, I seek not fortune but fame. Once again it has eluded me.
I so wanted to join my group-members in the Hall of Fame. One after another they flourish their successful stories and poems and always I have been lazy and just too late (or uninspired) to compete. I raise a toast, join in the applause, and celebrate with them, but inside I bleed with humiliation. I know how Cinderella felt when they all went off to the Ball. I empathise with John Gormley’s discomfort when he realised that nobody voted for his party. I understand the pain of the Westmeath footballers when Dublin walloped them in Croke Park on Sunday last.
The last ‘prize-winning’ story I wrote seems to have gone astray somewhere because it didn’t feature in the short-list of the comp I had selected. Maybe I didn’t put enough stamps on the envelope? I know it deserved to win but how could the judges discover that if they never saw it’s magnificence.
One offering was honoured by a short-list in Malahide, but since I can’t remember what story it was and have no way of finding out, I can neither read it over and over again with satisfaction, nor can I boast about it.
So my file of unsung stories grows and grows.
I am my only admirer. I’ve just begun a new folder (the first, well thumbed, is bursting at the seams) which I keep on a shelf in my room so that I can read the exciting sagas over and over. They get lonely, poor things, and languish sadly. I know you’ll think a folder on a shelf is a sad thing anyway in these days of technology but I want to make sure that some day, long after the computer has crashed and distributed my precious words into cyber-space (I know I should have them on back-up discs, but how to file them, where to keep them, who would see them) there is still a chance that someone will find these treasures and I will, at last, be discovered.