Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I shattered the glass slipper

I’m pleased to announce that my short story, “CinderElvis: the story that Palace PR will never tell” won the Shattering the Glass Slipper Short Story contest. If you’d like to read the short story, here it is:

The other stories were amazing. I liked aspects of each one:

The runner-up “Just outside the Closet” by Mandy Manning shows us a truly fractured fairy tale Prince with a fetish that enslaves them both,

“Masque” by Amy Allison takes the HEA ending and sets it literally on bloody heels,

“Perspective” by Chris Longhurst told the story from one of the transformed footmen’s point of view addressing just how painful change is,

Hollan Lane’s “To Be Queen” blows away the wide-eyed good-girl image. This Cindy is a bad girl hellbent on revenge against her wicked stepmother and willing to do whatever it takes to get the throne,

We have a brand new twist when our heroine becomes Cindy-the- wampyr –Slayer in “Full Circle” by P. L. Blair,

Having a seafaring element to “Dark and Fair” by Brian Gray was a pleasant surprise. This story had the feel of the tales of old and a lovely HEA,

Yaddi Shaw’s “Toe to Toe” had a poetic elegance and defiant feel that I loved,

Ever wonder what it’s like for the poor guy having to put all those shoes on the women of the country? Manford in T. L. Sherwood’s “Best Foot Forward” can tell us,

Last, but by no means least, my heart broke over “Diamond Tear” by Jane Buffham. Her ending left me wanting the rest of the story.

Every one of the finalist stories was a winner. If I could have voted, I'm not sure whose story I would have chosen.

My win comes with heartfelt thanks to Stephanie and Simcha for hosting the contest. In addition to several friends who posted the voting link on their Facebook pages and got the word out to their friends as well as everyone who voted and commented on my story.

I wrote the story in the earnest hope that someday LGBT couples can love and marry outside of the closet. The biggest win for me was not so much the contest, but the fact that President Obama announced just days after that the government would stop defending DOMA. That's a significant step to me seeing my cousin marry his longtime partner and that's a bigger win for me than anything.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

I don't see the world the same as anyone else. Literally.

I was born with cataracts. Before I was four, I'd had five surgeries to remove the clouded lenses from my eyes and give me some sight.

My Mom had a choice: send me to the local school for the handicapped or mainstream me. She visited the school and was saddened by the white canes and wheelchairs. So, I went to regular grade school with my pop-bottle thick Granny glasses on.

Everyone, including my very prejudiced Mom and her teacher friends, said I was bright. I knew my alphabet and the phonetic sound of each letter before kindergarten. I knew words like precocious and I was even creating my own, benderphobia was the first at three. I could count to 100, too. And, I wrote beautiful cursive--from right to left. (My handwriting's never been as good as it was in kindergarten)

I just couldn't read. I'm not sure what happened in my brain when I looked at words, but it wasn't what my first grade teacher expected. I was stuck in the paste-and-booger eating reading group falling asleep over Jack and Jill. Mrs. Leeman told my Mom I wasn't living up to my potential, but darned if either one of them knew what to do with me.

I'm not sure what made Mom buy me a subscription to the Dr. Seuss book club, but that changed everything. The first book to come was "Hop On Pop."

The images and words connected for me. I was devouring the Seuss books and waiting anxiously for the next one to show in the mail.

Somewhere along the line, I got promoted to the middle-of-the road readers. I was still bored with Jack and Jill, but I put up with them because I knew if I could stand that pair, I would someday get to read books I wanted.

Meanwhile, I was learning some lessons about the world from Dr. Seuss and the gang. From Sam-I-Am, I learned about prejudice.

By third grade, I was in the top reading group. My reading and elocution were so good, I was one of the kids chosen to read for the kindergarteners. Of course, I had to pick Dr. Seuss. The book I chose was "Green Eggs and Ham."

Getting applause from those little kids was one of the proudest moments of my life. I owe a lot of thanks to my Mom, the teachers who never gave up on me, and yes to Dr. Seuss for giving me books that captured my imagination and my heart.

My one regret is I never got to thank Dr. Seuss in person, but I believe somewhere up in the rainbow clouds, he knows.

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel.