Caitlin Horrocks' stories have always punched me in just the right way. So that after reading "The Sleep" or "Sun City" or even "Zolaria" and especially "This Is Not Your City," I feel amazed and exhausted and alive and also a little bit in love with Caitlin Horrocks and her words. And so, when I entered a story - in the usual titled-with-no-author identification format given to most contests - in the Passages North short fiction contest, which announced CH as judge, I hoped she might find something in my words, too - if my story even made it passed the first readers.
This week I had my first phone call ever from a literary magazine. Yes, that's right. From Tim Johnston, the managing editor at Passages North. He was quite calm, and meanwhile I tried to stay calm, as he told me that my story, "We Are Here Because of a Horse," had been chosen by Caitlin Horrocks as the winner of the 2012 Waasmode Short Fiction Prize. I'm still surprised and ecstatic and occasionally mumble, "nah, that wasn't me," even though I know I should shout, "yes, that's me and that's my story!" That's my story about a girl and a boy and a horse, about drums and Tulsa and dreams. And then I can't help myself and I celebrate by jumping up and down and scaring the dog, because my stories are finally getting a chance to be read.
And that's why I'm even more in love with Caitlin Horrocks and this thing that she and I both do. This thing called writing.
(Photo Credit: sheeshoo at Flickr - the chrome horse at the Natural History Museum in Fair Park in Dallas).