Just across the train tracks in downtown Conroe, nestled between the historic Owen and Crighton theatres, is a little coffee shop called Conroe Coffee. It’s 7:45am. I’ve ordered the Polar Bear Latte and seated myself at the glass table with a swirl of white embossed flowers by the lounge window over-looking the street. Jazz music swaggers through the room from the store stereo. This is worth getting up extra early for. I have an hour until I have to be at work at Armstrong’s Professional Beauty Supply Store.
This is what my life looks like going into the fall. Working at Armstrong’s 3 days a week, 9-6, and every other Saturday. When I can, I come to this coffee shop before work and on lunch breaks. I bought a year subscription to the Babbel app to learn Spanish. I plan to use my morning and lunch break times for Spanish, making a dent in my reading list, writing, and maybe an occasional Netflix episode.
Speaking of writing, I FINALLY heard back from Cutbank about the poetry contest results.
And…I was not a finalist.
Which is disapointing, but an expected disappointment considering how overwhelmed they were by submissions.
I am disappointed by not winning but also by Cutbank’s contest itself. When the original deadline of June 31st came and went, there was no notice at all of the delay. I counted down the days only to hear nothing. I had to email the editor just to find out what was going on. I received a very kind and understanding email, apologizing for the delay. The new deadline was vaguely “in July.” Again I waited.
I passed my summer with a trip to Mansfield and Dallas, taking my cosmetology operator exam, obtaining my cosmeology license, looking for a job, hanging out at barber shops, organizing projects at home, tending to my garden, helping plan a 50th anniversary party for my grandparents, attending the Houston Miller Outdoor Theatre’s Annual Shakespeare Festival, hanging out pool-side, drinking margaritas and pina coladãs, and binge-watching the 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls for the first time (soo ready for that season finale!!)
July came and went, and still no word on the contest. I emailed again. Two more weeks they said, or they would contact us.
Two weeks passed. Once again, I emailed them. And only then, did I hear the contest results.
Despite the kind understanding they showed in response to my inquiries, I have to say, I am not happy with how they handled the contest at all.
I understand being delayed by an overwhelming number of submissions. I understand the oversights that happen when a new editor takes over. But their lack of communication is inexcusable. There should be systems in place for this. There should be protcols to follow. What does a deadline even mean to them? Apparently it’s just a suggestion!
It was extremely inconsiderate to the contestants. I could have entered my stories into other contests but had to let their deadlines pass me by while waiting to hear on this one. At the very least, they should have been letting people know, and they didn’t.
So what now? Now I will have to look at what contests still have open deadlines and go from there. I also hope to get back in the swing of writing book reviews.
And finish Gilmore Girls. 😁