The Gift

So I just turned 51. Napoleon Bonaparte died at 51.

But he had already conquered much of Europe.

And I have battled over the years with my biggest dream. To be a writer.

When I was 12, I entered a writing contest. I don’t remember what I wrote or even the title of my story, but I do remember what I wore on the day that the winner was announced. My  wide-legged polyester pants with a big sash-like belt boldly emblazoned with the swirly words Coca-Cola!! WTF?! I didn’t even drink Coke, and kids in Newfoundland wore blue jeans to school. But I adored those pants – especially the way they swished around my ankles when I walked. Swish…swish…like a Hollywood star accepting an Oscar.

There was just one problem…

Denise Reid won the contest. Not me.

And I have never forgotten her name. Plus I quit writing. I’m not exactly sure why I considered losing the first writing contest I’ve ever entered the end of my career. But I did. I accepted this failure as a stable quality just like my blue eyes, size 7 feet, and larger-than-average size nose…. really. big. nostrils. I was also now a non-writer.

12-something year olds!!! You are stuck with your eye colour and foot size, but your dreams are flexible! They are determined by hard work, hard work, more hard work, a little luck, and -for just a few- a shot of natural talent, plus HARD WORK!

So here goes. And I have to be totally honest…the reason I’m writing this blog is because my daughter paid for it for an entire year and then gave it to me as a birthday gift!!! She always was a brat! Over the years, I have worn ugly sweaters and tacky jewellery because they were gifts from my kids. Jess knew that I would have no choice. I would write…..

And I may not conquer Europe, but I will find peace.


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