Remember my three Sellafield posts? Well, sometime back in the spring or early summer I copied them into a single file, gave them a quick revision, and then sent them off to the Writers Digest 74th Annual Writing Competition, which I received notice of through an e-zine I subscribe to. After which I promptly forgot about them.

So yesterday I find a large-ish envelope outside my door. Too large to comfortably fit in the mailbox. Inside, a big ‘n flashy Certificate of Achievement. Plus a letter:

Dear Alda,

One of my most enjoyable tasks as editor of Writer’s Digest is passing along good news to writers… Your manuscript… has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Memoirs/Personal Essay category of the 74th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Enclosed is your Certificate of Achievement… blablabla.

This year’s contest attracted close to 18,000 entries. Your success in the face of such formidable competition speaks highly of your writing talent, and should be a source of great pride as you continue in your writing career.

I congratulate you again on your accomplishment… blablabla.


Kristin D. Godsey*

… Was the first thing to pass through the cynical YT mind as she skimmed the letter, Certificate of Achievement dangling from her left hand. Closer inspection of the contents of the package gave further cause for suspicion: a very pink sheet of paper dotted with hyperbole and exclamation marks, offering me a very special $2 off the regular $10 price of a ‘special competition collection’ in which my name, if I understand correctly, will appear. [I quote: “We know you’ll want to have extra copies on hand to show to your friends and family.” – Oh, how convenient! Just in time for Christmas!]

Yes, but… [since obviously there is no mention of actual dosh]
… what does ‘Honorable Mention’ actually mean?

To google it of course. Now, from what I can surmise, people consider this ‘Honorable Mention’ business a fairly big deal. Qualifying this observation is the fact that most of those who consider it a big deal are ‘Honorable Mention’ recipients who may or may not have inflated egos. So, in short, judicious consideration of the contents of yesterday’s package has failed to determine whether ‘Honorable Mention’ should warrant the cracking open of a bottle of Champagne, or the prompt depositing of the Achievement Certificate in the garbage bin.

Any recommendations – not to mention insights – from Weather Report readers would be most welcome.

… Which has remained lovely – calm and mild and benign, even if there has been no sun. It’s set to get colder over the next few days, with temperatures dropping to the freezing mark tonight and tomorrow. Temps at the moment are 9°C [48.2F] and the sun came up at 08.30 and will set at 17.54.

*Who henceforth shall be known in the YT Household as Kristín Godsend. Whether or not it is warranted.