I found out today that I didn't win that short story contest I entered. I didn't come in second place, either. Or third. Which means I placed somewhere between fourth and seventh.
I read the winning stories earlier, and as much as I'd like to get all defensive and belligerent about how "my story was better, dammit, I call SHENANIGANS!" I really can't. Mostly because the stories were probably better than mine but partly because I don't even really remember which stories I submitted. Which probably also means I didn't take it as seriously as I should have GO FIGURE and ALSO I probably should have submitted something newly written, rather than something I wrote in college and half-assedly revised. But now it sounds like I'm making excuses for not winning. BECAUSE I AM. This entry is brought to you by CAPS LOCK, by the way.
Part of me wants to be all, "oh, whatever, it's just a stupid contest, in DAYTON of all places," but another part of me thinks that if I can't even win a measly little newspaper contest in Ohio then who the hell am I kidding? I might as well give up RIGHT NOW but the thought of not having this particular goal in life makes me really, really sad. I mean LOW. Worse than I feel when I think about my crappy job, my bank account, my poor, dying car, or my nonexistent love life.
SO. That said, I prefer to think positively, learn from this, and own the rejection.