As I look back on the beginning of my coaching program, I am amazed by all the accomplishments I recorded, which don't fit in with my image of myself, especially after my husband died, since I often thought of myself as definitely second fiddle to the brilliant man I married.
But one of the first things that I recorded was that I was notified that my poem "Curating Space: For Gabriel" won 5th place in the Writer's Digest Rhyming Poem Contest. Two years ago one of my poems took 7th place, so this was the highest I've ever gotten. Another of my poems was rerouted from rhyming to non-rhyming poem and it won an Honorable Mention. I was touched that someone took the trouble to send it to a different category. My poetry these days is usually rhyming, but not in a typical format, so it may be that the rhyme scheme was too subtle. But I'm not complaining!
Then I printed out the manuscript of Spectacular Marriage and sent it with a personal note to my friend the Archbishop for his Foreword.
A few days later, I had a note from the editor of The Lyric, which has printed many of my poems, saying that they are accepting three of my poems for publication. In a handwritten note, the editor said, "Thank you for your beautiful poems, lyrics sprung from the heart. We are privileged to share them with our readers, to resonate with their own grief and grace." Two of the poems were dealing with my husband's illness and my widowhood, so perhaps they will touch another's broken heart.