If there is enough positive response, the story could win VOKRA a grant of as much as five thousand dollars. It seemed like an easy task. I'd already written the piece, after all. It would simply be a matter of cut, paste and publish.
Nothing at all to it...right?
I followed their links to the entry page, read through the rules and stopped cold when I got to the part that said:
"We recommend that you write and save your story of up to 300 words in a document on your own computer before copying and pasting it onto our site."
Those of you who have visited here before already know that I'm sometimes profligate with my words. I doubt that I could put three hundred or fewer onto a Post-It Note. Kenny's story weighed in at a respectable five hundred and eighty-four words - and, no, it's not fat, it's just big-boned!
Another thing that you may have noticed is this - I HATE EDITING! - and I do it badly. Editing has no flow, no essence, no soul. You simply chop, count, chop, count, chop, count, until finally, all of your feckin' adjectives have disappeared, like the Anasazi or corporate responsibility, and your beloved piece reads like Fun With Dick and Jane.
Notwithstanding this, I had made the pact, and was prepared to do the bloody deed. The first thing to go was the paragraph I had lifted from Maria's FaceBook posts, heartbreaking really. She had given me some fine material to work with, and I loved the flow of her narrative. After that, I found places where I thought that my prose sagged, so I spent some time tightening it up and trimming my excesses away. Fine, but still too long. I was into the muscle now, but surely a little of that could be spared. Fortunately, the edit was finished before I had to justify amputating appendages.
I was done in the wee hours of the morning, the Tall Lady and the cats long since abed. I pasted my story into the text field, chose my photo and submitted the whole lot to the contest. The site sent me a link, which I shared with my friends on FaceBook, and in two days we had scored over a hundred "likes".
On the third day, however, the story had vanished. It seems that I had left in a plea for the reader to donate to the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association, and this was a clear violation of the rules which I thought I'd read. In my defense, it was two o'clock in the morning when I finished.
So, back to the heavy hand and the bloody broad-axe. I submitted the new post today, and I'm delighted to say that it hasn't been pulled yet. Forty-three people have "liked" it so far, including Karen Duncan, Maria Soroski and me. Of course, I'm biased, and they might be lying to spare my feelings.
Kenny himself remains silent on the issue, accepting this too, with his usual serenity. He seems well, happy and unspoiled by his sudden celebrity. Perhaps his is the best perspective at all. In a world of chicken breast, goat's milk and wet, sloppy kisses, what could possibly be amiss?
FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT WORDS? It can't be!
Ah well, goodnight, all.
To "Like" Kenny's Story