On March 5th I entered the #50Precious Words writing contest hosted by the lovely Vivian Kirkfield. A phrase had been floating in my idea stream for many months and I decided to use "Walk On" in my brief story about my son Benjamin, his therapeutic riding, and learning to walk without his walker at age 10! Distilling years of physical therapy, surgery, and therapeutic riding into 50 words was a challenge and a joy! Benjamin had walked from point A to point B before riding, but this was the therapy that strengthened his core and balance and helped him become confident in leaving his walker behind. I will never forget the look on his face the day he realized he could keep going and going. He hasn't stopped going since! Here's my entry:
The eleven lovely judges read 749 entries, chose their favorites, and my entry earned the #1 spot! I cried when I read the news and pinched myself for days after! I had the privilege to choose my prize first out of the 57 wonderful donations. I chose the Paula Cohen Martin Big Dreams Mentorship with Vivian Kirkfield. Paula Cohen Martin passed away before the publication date of her debut picture book, BIG DREAMS, SMALL FISH. Her publication date also happens to be the same date as Benjamin's birthday, which I discovered after I chose this mentorship. The coincidence gave me goosebumps and brought more tears. I watched a video of Paula opening her author copies of her new book and felt a connection with her. I hope that working with Vivian to realize my own big dreams of becoming a published author will honor Paula's memory. I am beyond grateful to be part of this beautiful, encouraging writing community. To be acknowledged in this way is very humbling. Thank you to Vivian, the judges, prize donors, and fellow writers!
4/1/2023 12:38:23 pm
Belated congratulations, dear Dena. I can't believe I never popped over to see your post. I adore the graphic you used - and of course, I absolutely loved the words of your contest entry. I'm totally excited to be working with you!
4/2/2023 08:54:54 am
Thank you, Vivian! It's an honor to be mentored by you!
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About the Author
I am a mom to two sweet and lively boys and live in Santa Barbara, California. My oldest has Cornelia deLange Syndrome. He fuels my passion for advocating for equity and inclusion wherever I go. I love the power of a good story to inspire, educate, and make change in our world.