I got the letter from Weber: The Contemporary West two weeks ago. It has sat on my desk all this time, while I launched a new website, did the major busywork that sending a kid off to freshman year at college halfway across the country entails, prepared my home for the send-off party while also pre-writing nearly 20 blog entries to auto-post at the new website over the next 3 weeks while I am out of town in New York, then in Portland.
When I get paper mail from publications, I automatically think it is a request to subscribe. Now, please note, I didn't toss the letter. It has been in the inbox all this time because I will always consider requests to subscribe. It just wasn't at the top of my priorities these last couple of weeks.
Here's a hint if this is your practice as well... if the letter is hand-addressed to you, and not stamped for presort? OPEN IT.
I got an email from the ever-patient Kristin at Weber yesterday asking me if I had received a letter from them recently. The email subject was "Weber Award."
Of course, I was at work at the sleep lab when I read this email, which means it was close to midnight last night and I could not hope to be home from work until at least 730 today.
When I finally got home at 7am (lucky me, I was out early, with only one patient who was easy to check out this morning... not all of them are!), I tore into the envelope and discovered I had won a literary prize.
"The Dr. O. Marvin Lewis Award of $500 is presented annually in the fall edition of Weber to the author of a work of essay/personal narrative selected as the 'best' published in Weber during the previous year."
Perhaps as thrilling for me to discover was the fact that the prize namesake is a retired medical practitioner who is also a literary writer and arts advocate. A man after my own, newly updated career heart! Even if my essay is not medical in nature, my life today most certainly is, and so I leave you with the thought that the universe speaks to us in myriad lovely ways, if only we should listen (and open our mail promptly!).
Check out my essay here. And thank you, Weber, for validating this choice of mine: to leave behind the charmed literary bubble for a life in the working world while continuing my path as a writer. This will fuel my efforts for a long, long time!