I mean it when I say that. There are times I really wish I never had to preen my feathers. It feels so much the opposite of humility, which is, IMHO, one of the most admirable traits of all. But as a writer in today’s world, it’s all par for the course. We’ve been warned by wise voices within the industry that if we don’t stay current, don’t do at least a little self-promoting, and don’t keep the channel to our work open and energized, we risk becoming irrelevant. And what a word that is. Who wants to be irrelevant? In terms of who I am in God’s eyes, I don’t worry so much about relevance. I know where I stand with God, who sees me and each of His children as vitally relevant. But in the eyes of the earthly world, I am but a whisper, and as such, it’s important I seize these opportunities to share any successes when they do come (it’s not every day, after all). I can’t risk irrelevance without risking my livelihood, too. Not all professions depend on it, but mine surely does. And so, partly though obligation and partly through a sincere feeling of gratitude, I would like to share here that my efforts in the past year have, indeed, produced tangible “fruits;” namely, my contest submissions to the North Dakota Professional Communicators organization have been returned and deemed worthy of recognition.
Below is one of four certificates I received. And yes, my name is spelled wrong in each of them. The same thing happened when I won the Flicker Tale Award for my children’s book, P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet, in 2006. The plaque read: Roxane E. Salonen. It was a nice try, but after some deliberation, I requested it be redone with the correct spelling. It’s not the end of the world, truly, but I figured if I’d gotten far enough in my work to earn a plaque that might sit in my office until the end of my earthly life, at least it could be spelled correctly. We college students would have received an automatic “F” grade in Shelton Gutaratne’s Reporting II class if our stories had been found with any fact errors, name spellings included.
All first place honors go on to the national competition (National Federation of Press Women) for consideration. Of course, the competition increases substantially at that level, so my expectations are quite realistic. I’m simply happy to be among the state winners, and especially to know that my first year of “Parenting Perspectives” column pieces for The Forum, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed producing, have been appreciated/recognized.
Among my award-winning submissions:
First place, columns, specialized columns (Forum columns, including this one)
Second place, columns, specialized columns (Forum columns)
Honorable mention, OPEN Magazine feature story, “Show Time” (featuring John Marks of the Trollwood Performing Arts School)
And in case anyone is wondering what the deal is with the single “n” in my name, my father named me after the heroine in the French play, Cyrano de Bergerac. So, if you’re reading this, dear Dad, I’m working on it!