Tonight I had the joy and pleasure of hearing my neighbor Phyllis Newsome from way back in the day express her joy when I told her my picture is in the paper for winning the Anne McKee grant for literature! She said, “I knew you would do it” and she went on and on about the poem I wrote that won the 2nd place prize in a poetry contest when I was a teenager. It was entitled Precious and she remembered it was about a guy I was going out with and how brilliantly I described how he loved me. WOW, after all these years my neighbor remembers my words!

I’m humbled and honored at the same time while listening to her. In fact, lately, other people have come up to me and rave about my poetry since I’ve started reading it publicly. A poetry class I took at the library, taught by my mentor Flower Conroy and going to the monthly Poetry Guild gatherings has totally changed my life in every way a life can be changed! I am amazed my words affect people so deeply. Awesome timing to have a conversation like this because it feels like I’m picking up where I left off when I won the 2nd place prize so many years ago.

Today, while it has taken a really long time for my light to shine, the light never really went out. It was just dimmed cause all I do is win!