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hopeful holds the tension/ dew jewels cling the sway/ clasped tight against the world/ not yet knowing it's ok/ the waiting deepens color/ trying to accept every sun ray/ gathering its truth song/ beauty at bay so long/ awaiting opening to day/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bending in Oregon, Part 1: The Awards Ceremony

On Wednesday (the 4th), my boyfriend, good friend and I took off in good friend's truck (named Timmy) and drove about 6 and a half hours southeast to Bend, a very cute, arts-oriented town in central Oregon. I think I was a bit of a freak-show for most of the way; I won a short story contest (Short-story, nonfiction in the 19-25 age group) for a re-telling of the events surrounding my grandfather's death last Christmas. The awards ceremony included reading an excerpt from this - I'd practiced with my pastors and my boyfriend the night before and realized that cutting out things to make a 3-5 reading-out-loud excerpt really makes for good editing...
Despite how nervous I was and how difficult the material was for me (it was a true story after all), I only made one ridiculous mistake; my boyfriend tries to make me feel better about it by saying that it "builds rapport" with the audience: The title of the story I wrote is "Moving." So, after my judge announced me, I got up to the microphone to announce my story: I said, "My story is moving." After realizing what I did (the audience started to laugh), I was appropriately flustered and tried to fix it: "Oh, I mean...that's what it's CALLED. That's not an obligation or anything...". Yeah, then I read an excerpt, fairly well if I do say so myself.

My boyfriend was up and about taking pictures the whole time, an my good friend audio-recorded the whole thing on our pastor's digital recorder. This was an incredible event - complete with 4 days of workshops and speakers (we could only stay for two because my friend and I are both [studying God] in school), one in which I am so honored to have participated - all the entries were amazing - the nature essays, the poems, the fiction short stories - and I got an anthology (including bios and pictures) of all these great pieces. I wasn't expecting this, but I got a large gift bag as well with a hand-sculpted trophy of a star (the contest I one was called "Rising Star"), postcards, a pencil, a beautiful box, a certificate, a nature-of-words tote, a pencil, a notebook, a newspaper from Bend with a write-up of the Nature of Words (it's a really big deal around these parts, there were signs all over the cute little town!), a book (whose author was at the ceremony/event) etc.

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