Happy is the girl, part two

  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/20 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Northport, Alabama

Nineteen months ago, I wrote this story inspired by this image. The inner cowgirl had not yet appeared because I had not yet gone to Oklahoma.

A lot of things hadn’t happened yet. I hadn’t covered a hurricane, hadn’t written for TIME Magazine. I hadn’t written Cowgirl Up — I hadn’t written a piece of fiction at all. Next month, one of my short stories will appear in an anthology and another will appear in a literary magazine. I’m pitching a new one tonight.

I’m pleased with the strides I’ve made this year in fiction. I have a new website, and I’m plotting several daring new paths. Today, I knocked one more thing off my July-December goal list. I mailed my application for a four-week writing residency at Hedgebrook, a prestigious program held on 42-acres of forest overlooking Puget Sound. There were times I wanted to throw in the towel. I haven’t been sleeping well, and spending hours fretting over semi-colons wasn’t helping.

But today, when I saw the postal clerk stamp my envelope and drop it into the bin, I knew it had been worth it. Nothing worth having comes easily. Not everything that comes easily is worth having. Do I stand a chance? I don’t know. I’m pleased with my package. I think it represents where my fiction work stands at the moment, and as such, knowing the hours I’ve put into fiction when I could have been out with my friends, watching television, or sleeping, I’m proud of the effort.

That alone was worth the price of admission.

Music: That Girl is a Cowboy by Garth Brooks (lyrics)

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