Yesterday I submitted a story for a contest. As I typed in my credit card information for the entry fee. I said a prayer over and over in my mind, "Please God let me win something. Please God let me win something."
After the culmination of days and months rolling down a hill and snowballing into years without stepping foot into a church, my Catholic upbringing of spending every Sunday on a hard wooden pew with my grandma Ita, has not left me.
I sat in a noisy coffee shop quickly rereading a story, I've read 100 times, one more time to make sure it was really ready to send out. I attached it quickly to the email, exhaled, let my fingers hover over the keys and finally hit enter, sending a piece of my heart into cyber space for someone to look over, read, and hopefully connect with it.
The heart of a writer is both tender and calloused. We pour pieces of ourselves out onto paper for people to judge. Perhaps I should say the heart of the artist, but I can't think of other professions where one hands out pieces of themselves, gift wrapped with crinkled paper, to strangers.
After I hit send I crossed myself (with a bit of subtly I'm superstitious not crazy) and said a silent thank you then added one more, "Please God let me win something," for good measure and tried to remember the words of Sylvia Plath.