Finalist status, more publications, and pigging out on strawberries

Well, as Hegel said, the pendulum swings one way and then it swings the other. Right now, it’s swinging in a good direction for me (hallelujah, and thanks to my muse and the goddess of literary intentions). All of my hard work, all of the nights I agonized over commas and line breaks and word choices plus even more nights researching markets and reading journals and trying to decide if my poems/essays/stories would be a good fit (i.e., were clever enough, succulent enough, pithy enough, brilliant enough, etc., etc., etc.) has finally paid off, at least for the time being.

My creative nonfiction/prose poem collection Lies, and Saturdays was named finalist at the Cutbank Chapbook Contest. It was previously chosen as semi-finalist in the Rose Metal Press Chapbook Contest. It’s moved up a notch, though I’m smart enough to know that that probably doesn’t mean a damned thing.

After countless (and I mean countless) rejections, I have poems coming out in upcoming issues of Postcards Poems and Prose, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Barking Sycamores, Poetic Medicine and Theories of HER Anthology.

(Talking about rejections, I got another one as I was writing this post, is that ironic or what? Nothing like keeping me humble.)

Even better news: it’s been sunny here in Anchorage and in the 70s. This is a huge, huge deal, and our garden is growing like wild. Well, I don’t really do much in the garden but eat and admire. My partner does the rest. I grew up on a farm, and one of my chores was weeding the garden. And helping put up hay each summer. And feeding the horses. And shoveling the large mounds of manure produced by said horses. Needless to say, gardening lost its allure in the process and while I appreciate others’ efforts, I’d rather sit in the sun, read a book and let someone else do all of the hard work. Luckily, my partner is fine with this. He actually likes to garden. He thinks it’s fun. (He didn’t grow up on a farm, you see.)

But still, looky, looky: aren’t our strawberries gorgeous?


This is the first year that we’ve had decent strawberries. We don’t normally get enough sunshine in our patch of yard and end up with a few harden lumps of pink that kinda/sorta taste like a strawberry. This year I’ve been pigging out like crazy.

The raspberries are ripening, too. I’ve been stealing  borrowing from our neighbor’s bushes. Summer is truly the best, isn’t it?

Even though we are slowly losing daylight, it’s still light past midnight and I’m still taking advantage of it as much as possible.

And here I am starting to run down Powerline Pass to Prospect Heights at about 10:30 p.m. We ran the 3.5 miles of constant uphill and then turned around and charged back down: Wheeeee!

Halfway down a biker stopped us to report that a grizzly bear had been spotted on one of the connecting trails, and later that week my partner saw a grizzly from the distance around the same place, mostly likely the very same bear. Wild, eh?


And here are the mountains we ran past. Everything is so green and lush this year, it’s just amazing.



Hope everyone is out enjoying the summer. I’ll be back later this week to share the road trip I took with my sister as we drove my son down to Stanford, where he’s starting his PhD program.

8 thoughts on “Finalist status, more publications, and pigging out on strawberries

  1. Coming to Stanford, eh? (Or you already did?) You’re almost in my neck of the woods.

    Your submissions inspired me to submit a couple of things a couple of months ago. A short story and a novella. I got the emails this week rejecting both. Not a big deal. The reality is that I need to submit more, but before I do that I need to do a better job of researching where I submit to.

    Congrats on the progress you’re making with your submissions.

    The pictures, as always, are incredible. But I think I need to see that grizzly in one. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mark, and good for you for submitting. It’s rather daunting, isn’t it? I always feel confident until I hit the Send button. Then all of my insecurities hit, big-time. It can get a bit ugly, too. So pat yourself on the back for having the courage to submit. It isn’t easy.
      We got back from Stanford late last week. It was a quick trip but so much fun. Loved the campus. Loved the northern area of CA. Loved the heat. Loved how blue the sky was. My sister and I stopped at Shasta Lake (or is it Lake Shasta?) on the way back and took a nice hike. Really beautiful.
      P.S. No pics of the grizzly but did get some of a moose and calf that I’ll post later this week.


  2. Hey, way to go! Being a finalist is a biggie, because all the judges’ eyeballs are on your stuff. Even if you don’t win, they’ll remember you. Plus, you can always say now, “I was a finalist in the Cutbank Chapbook Contest”!

    Nice-lookin’ strawberry too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kev! And I’m still stuffing strawberries into my mouth, lol. Hope all is well down there. P.S. I loved norther CA. It was 99 degrees in the mountains. I was kind of in heaven; hadn’t felt heat like that in years.


  3. Wow, Cinthia, your chapbook is doing phenomenally well!!!! A huge congrats to you? So did you enter it in creative nonfiction chapbook contests? In other words, did you count the prose poems as prose? Or are these hybrid or mixed genre contests?


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