This has been a close-but-no-cigar month for me. Specifically, I received some recognition for two of my books, but didn’t win any of the big prizes. DEAD LETTER was a “finalist” in the 9th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. This competition is sponsored by an entrepreneurial company in California that fosters self-publishers.
Meanwhile, THE 11TH YEAR OF CHRISTOPHER ARTHUR McDANIELS was also a “finalist” in the annual Children’s Literacy Classics Awards. This was the annual competition that my other children’s book, ABOUT A FARM, won the award for “Best Chapter Book” back in 2013. While Christopher did not win its category, it was blessed with a “Gold Seal of Approval.” As such I get to put a gold embossed sticker on the book’s cover.
And finally, I had a $2 lottery ticket hit pay dirt for a resounding $10.00! So, all in all, October has been a big tease. Perhaps it is holding back some humongous winning pot of dough that will boil over in the final few days of the month.
Of course all these events are mere stepping stones to my real goal in life—the Pulitzer! Those close to me know that my entire career, not to mention every breathing moment of my entire life, has been exclusively devoted to winning a Pulitzer. It’s just a matter of time they keep telling me. I hope it isn’t right now because I have not completed writing my acceptance speech. It’s okay; I can wait for my Pulitzer. I am a patient person. Until the time comes, I will continue living my happy life as it is, each week looking forward to the selection of buy-one-get-one-free groceries at my local supermarket.
The other win/lose conflict going on in my life right now is the baseball playoffs. As many of you know, I faithfully followed the Chicago Cubs all summer long…right on up to when they played themselves into the playoffs. This is no small accomplishment given their participation in the playoffs happens about as often as I write a book that makes it onto the New York Times best-seller list. I take the Cubs making it to the playoffs as a good omen for me. But I remain cautious. The Cubs were swept out of the playoffs almost as quickly as they went in…no cigar and not even close.
Life is full of CBNC’s. If you are a pessimist you see them seldom coming your way, meaning you don’t even stand a chance of coming close and you are stuck with that dreadful label of “looooser” that accompanies this posture. The optimist, of course, expects one to be frequently dropped in his or her lap. These are the “almost-almost” moments we live through, sometimes followed with a “wait’ll next year” proclamation. Most of us are blessed with many CBNC’s in our lifetime. Only a small minority make it beyond close and get to enjoy their cigar too. It has to be that way or else achieving a win wouldn’t be so special, would it?
So my stars have been favorably aligned this month of October. I spent the weekend putting up the Halloween decorations to spook away the demons (pictured below). Soon the month will be over. Perhaps the signs are pointing me in the right direction…perhaps not. Time will tell. As they say, life is one big close-but-no-cigar…and then you go puff!