Having a Pushcart nomination is not the same as pulling a prize out of a Cracker Jack box. It's not just Magnet Man or the tiny pinball machine with those little levers or the super-loud plastic whistle or even the compass, cowboy puzzle, or miniature playing cards. It's not "Oh, look!" and then chomping candied popcorn and peanuts. Nope. Not even close.
To me, it's much more like waving to all your friends from the Mardi Gras float that's decorated in the theme of your nominated story. Think of the riders, all women, in flowered bathing caps from the late 1960's, throwing valium pills and martini olives instead of strands of glass beads to the crowds. The float itself would be papered in the thin blue airmail stationary and gold stars trimmed with navy and fastened on backgrounds of white surrounded in red. Mardi Gras floats all have titles, and this one's would be: "Good Boys and Gold Star Mothers." The parade would roll on a windy night, and later after the crowds had dispersed and gone on home, the street would be plastered in pages covered in wet blue ink, the Dear Moms and All my loves disappearing under the brooms of the clean-up crews.
And so, yes, this nomination is huge and weighted with honor. And I'm in awe, especially because of the work we all do as writers, to reach a moment like this, which is larger than life and acknowledges the work done. And this is a thank you to the editors at Nomos Review and all my family, friends, and fellow writers -- the most supportive and intensely generous crowd ever!
- an excerpt of "The Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds" - from my novel-in-progress Sybelia Drive