Losing at short story contests, winning at t-shirts. And cookies!

And….not surprisingly, I didn’t win the short story contest.  I’m now 0 for 2.  This loss was by far a better loss than the writing contest from last year.  This year was, “Hey!  No win!”  Last year was, “Hey!  No win!  Now, lets tell you how much you suck–and we’ll even throw in a handy chart to show you how much we’ve rated your suckage, on a scale from 1 to 5.”

At this point, I’m trying to decide what to do with this scrappy little short story.  I’m a fan.  It’s thirteen pages long, so it’s a bit on the lengthy side to post here on The Rambling Jour.  I guess I could…split it up like an old timey magazine serial?  Three jumbo posts?  I have no idea.  I still think it’s by far some of the best I’ve written as of late, so I want it to see the light of day.  Somehow.

shirtOn a more positive note, my shameless self promoting The Rambling Jour t-shirt finally came in.  And it’s awesome.  It better be awesome, since I’ve debated for eons on buying it and finally–in some kind of Black Friday panic–broke down and went for it.

Love it.

The Hubs isn’t convinced I’m going to actually wear this t-shirt.  So, challenge accepted.  I’m going to need to wear a tank top under it because, let me tell you, they weren’t kidding when they marketed it as a “burn out” t-shirt.  Yikes.  But, on a high note, the pink isn’t as light as I thought it would be (I initially thought it was going to look like I had some kind of icing malfunction) and, in fact, matches the business cards I made for the writer’s conference.  It makes me feel like I’ve really got it together, kind of like that feeling I get when my underpants match my shirt.  You’ve got this, girl.  Totally put together.

Meanwhile, I made some ugly cookies.

It’s Christmas.  I’m trying to be festive.  So, I decide to make my friend Jocey’s sugar cookie recipe: doctoring up cooking mix with cream cheese.  Easy to make.  Easy to roll out and cut out cookies.  I’m on board with that, since The Preschooler really likes helping me bake and thirty step cookie recipes just…well, just aren’t plausible these days.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Things first started going poorly when I discovered I own approximately three cookies cutters: one that might be a gingerbread man in mid run, an airplane from when I dated an Air Force guy about a million years ago, and a buffalo.  We narrowed our cutters of choice to the running man and the buffalo.  Holiday buffalo cookies.  Okay.  I’ll go with that.  Nothing says Christmas like a man on the run and a herd of buffalo.

So, I mixed the dough up and it tasted delicious.  Yeah, go get the food police.  I still eat raw cookie dough.  Anyway, the only problem with the dough was that it didn’t feel like the kind of dough that was going to obediently roll out on my well floured table top.  So, I added some flour.  And it still just was all delicious and cookie dough-like, but still very low on the spreadable factor.

At this juncture I weighed the pros and cons of cut out cookies:

Pro: Delicious, frosted buffalo cookies to enjoy with my tea, coffee, and other assorted holiday beverages.

Con: I’ll have to wash the table.  Flour the table.  Roll the dough.  Flour the dough.  Cut the cookies.  Wash the table.

That’s when I decided to make drop cookies.

Looking back, it was a haphazard effort from the start.  But, what came out of my oven looked very little like cookies.  The Hubs looked at the cookie sheet.  “Are those biscuits?”

“I told you I was making cookies.”

“But….they look like drop biscuits.  Did you decide to make biscuits?  Because that’s sounds really good right now.”

“They’re cookies.”

So, then genius here decides to make some homemade frosting.  Unfortunately, I forgot to add any food coloring, so I made plain white frosting.cookie  I’m not entirely sure what I thought I was frosting–apparently not Christmas cookies–because now my cookies not only looked like drop biscuits, but they looked like drop biscuits someone had been kind enough to butter.

At least they tasted good.

Thus far in my holiday baking, failed buffalo roll out cookies turned into buttered, drop biscuit cookies that are actually delicious soft, creamy buttery sugar cookies with perhaps the best frosting I’ve made to date.  They just…you know, look like they need to be sitting on a plate next to a ham slice and fried potatoes.  Whatever.  I’m not shellacking them and hanging them on the Christmas tree.

So, this week I have a random three and a half days off from Day Job (got to use or lose those vacation days, baby) and I’m planning to do little more than sit on the couch in my pajamas.  Lets be honest.  That’s what you want in a vacation when you become a parent.  Yesterday, I woke up with a headache that felt distinctly like someone had shoved a railroad spike in my frontal lobe.  As I laid on the couch with my head in The Hubs lap, a pillow pressed to my face, I commented that all I really wanted to do was sit in the bathroom closet, in the dark, and try to tune out the sound of my own breathing.  But, headaches aside, now that we’re parents and poor and blah blah blah, on random days off like I’ll have this week, all I really want to do is lay on the floor and do nothing.

And that’s what I’m going to do.  Though, I’ll probably move long enough to eat a buttered biscuit cookie.  But don’t expect me to wear legit pants or brush my hair.



  1. If it were me, I’d put the short story up (when suitably edited etc) on its own page, or figure out some similar method of making sure that people who want to read a sample of your writing can always find it without first having to know it exists and embark on a long and complex hunt… Blogs are all very well, but if you’re not careful the good stuff that you want people to be able to find again and again can get buried in the minutiae of day-to-day posts.

  2. You could submit that story to an online magazine like Every Day Fiction. They’ll pay you $3 if they like it! Then you could add a tab to your blog that says Short Stories with a link to it.

    It’s a good thing I wasn’t eating or drinking anything while I was reading this. You crack me up, lady! I hope your head is feeling better. 🙂

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