Friday, October 8, 2010

Dream On

In a recent installment of "Green Monkey Tales", my friend and fellow blogger Shannon Kennedy laments her loss of the "Past Love Story" writing contest. Disappointment and denial of recognition have delivered a powerful blow; go to self-doubt, go directly to self-doubt. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00.

 Grantland Rice, the great sportswriter once said, 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.' Well Grantland Rice can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.
-Gene Autry

I'm with the Singing Cowboy on this one. Losing didn't launch his career, keep him on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans, or pen "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Yep, pardner, it's fun to win and it sure as shootin' pays more.

Contests are a double-edged sword; preparation and practice can lead to the exhilaration of victory or the embarrassment of holding an empty bag. Unfortunately there are a lot of empty bags out there. I'm pleased to report that by the end of her post, Shannon had come to terms with her defeat and decided that it wouldn't stop her from writing. Here's to looking at that bag as half full.

As competitive as I am, I'm not a great competitor. I can be totally undone by nerves and I'm not terribly receptive to criticism. My mother used to tell me, "You're thin-skinned, just like your grandmother." Apparently, "Ma'am" used to talk through television shows while remaining quiet during the commercials. No matter how gentle the reprimand, her beautiful blue eyes would fill with tears and she would clam up for hours. I guess you could say she was "Good to the Last Drop."

Genetic hyper-sensitivity coursing through my veins, I search for signs of validation as I now stand on the far side of the half century mark. Music and art have remained a constant thread throughout much of my life, though I haven't pushed either pursuit to its limit. Little victories aside, I, like Ralph Kramden,  have yet to "hit the high note". But I'm not dead yet and I'd like to think that the drill team competition I won in high school was not the apex of my creative accomplishments. Outside of reality TV, you can only go so far with white boots and a pair of pom-poms. Now there's a thought...

So while I prepare to take on the Kardashians as a banjo picking, dog loving, pom-pom waving mid life maniac, I'll keep reaching for the ring, brass or otherwise.

I know that Shannon will do the same.

Shannon Kennedy is the colorful force behind "Green Monkey Tales". Her writing is exuberant, poignant and hopeful. Please visit

1 comment:

  1. JOAN....I love the attention! I've printed and highlighted your post. Will tape it in a place of honor, a reminder that I am understood and NOT ALONE.

    I too am thin-skinned and remember my mother saying the exact same thing! We have both yet to hit our high note, but love that we've held onto our white boots! so glad I'm not alone on this journey.

    I must say, that so far, the most rewarding part of blogging has been discovering like minds. The more I expose my true self, dark side and all, the easier its been to except it. Mainly because others strut forward and align themselves with my shortcomings.

    I just returned from a writing workshop in Rhinebeck, that was intimidating but enriching. we were each striving to complete something big, something thats been driving us since we were kids. each of us going about it in different ways and each of us with a COMPLETELY different voice.

    thanks for the extended hand, the plug, and especially, your sincere friendship.