I just nominated works for the Pushcart Prize for the first time. My identity as an editor is finally sinking in AND I LOVE IT. Maybe too much.
Some of you may have already read my post on the Folded Word blog giving the official announcement of what, who, and why I nominated. But here’s the rest of the story:
I am a perfectionist. Not with housecleaning, but definitely with words. It took me hours to write and print my cover letter and the nominated works, stressing over every little formatting nuance. I finally printed it, but the regular paper wrinkled slightly in my laser printer. So I brought out the big guns: crisp sheets of 25% cotton watermarked paper. Mmmm, felt good to sign the cover letter on that with my fine-tipped art marker. Nice.
Then came the part I HATE–addressing the envelope. My laser printer makes a hash out of envelopes. So I pulled out my manual typewriter, but it was leaving smudges. I figured clean handwriting would be better than smudged typewriting, held my breath, and then used my calligraphic training to address the envelope in precise strokes. Trust me, it’ll take some intern’s breath away. The personal touch from an indie press. Right?
Lastly, the postage. Of course, my postal scale was out of battery power and the battery drawer was out of 9 volts. So I took the packet in to the post office. The envelope was right on the borderline between rates, so the clerk put one stamp on it to see if the weight of the stamp would change the rate. It was a Bob Hope stamp–slapped on sideways by the rushing clerk. Ordinarily, that kind of imperfection would drive me nuts. Except somehow the sight of that quirky man perched at a quirky angle on a VERY serious letter made me giggle–even after the extra postage got slapped on in an even quirkier angle.
Maybe you had to be there.
All I’m saying is that I’ve always tried not to take myself too seriously with Folded Word. To have fun with everything I do there. And even with the gravity of losing my editorial Pushcart virginity, I laughed.