Formally Announcing Unequivocally Ambiguous
My wife, Justine, and our oldest daughter, Jovie, went on a walk, and they ran into an anthill.
Jovie squatted, looked at all the crazy ants erratically moving around, and shouted, “They look like dancing ants.” After that, Justine and I decided to write that story, which we appropriately named “Dancing Ants.”
We submitted it to the San Francisco Writers Conference, and we were recently announced as a finalist in the Children’s Books Category.
We will write a query letter and send it around. If you are a literary agent, expect a query letter to come to an inbox near you.
In the same contest, I was announced as a finalist in a different category.
Can you guess which one?
You guessed it?!
Oh, you didn’t guess it? Me neither.
Poetry, for me, is like a side hobby to my hobby. Actually, it’s more like something I really enjoy doing every now and then when I am suddenly struck by the muses. Submitting some of my pieces to the contest was more of an afterthought.
The list of finalists is not alphabetically ordered, so I might’ve even been the runner-up, as my name is listed right after the winner. As a matter of fact, I’m going to say I was in small conversation at dinner parties, even if I don’t know that’s true and even if I knew nobody cares.
Here is why that’s ironic.
In that same contest, I submitted a piece of nonfiction, an essay called “Of the Norovirus and Other Joys of Pietri-Dish Parenting” and crickets. Nothing happened; not a mention, not a laugh, not a nothing.
It is ironic because a few weeks after submitting pieces in four different categories, I had decided that the only thing I wanted to do moving forward on my writing was nonfiction, whether essays or stories.
When I had my first daughter, I was still able to keep writing in a way that allowed me to explore any genre I wanted to explore. It was a creative time for me, as it was for many people at the beginning of the pandemic. I wrote fiction, flash fiction, surreal humor, poetry, haikus, opinion essays, and personal stories.
When I had my second daughter, it felt that between the lack of sleep and the lack of time, I couldn’t even properly write a grocery list. I stepped away from writing and publishing and what I could do in the little gaps between work and parenting, and I thought. I thought about where I wanted to take things.
Somehow, it became clear that what I wanted to do was to write personal essays and stories. It’s funny to me because it is not what I wanted to do when I first started my writing journey. I wanted to be a novelist, and I have one completed, unpublished novel to prove it.
Over the next few months, I will be publishing new essays but also republishing older pieces while I work to give my body of work a central place and theme.
If you were a voracious reader of all my work across different platforms, and I mean all platforms, Medium, Vocal, Newsbreak, Substack, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, then, yes, some of these might feel stale to you. But if you weren’t, and let’s be honest, nobody was, as not even my wife nor my mom read my work consistently; then this might be a fun ride for you as it is going to be for me.
If there is something specific that you want me to talk about, let me know. If you think of a better punchline for one of my jokes, send it over, and I’ll incorporate it and never give you credit. If you have a similar anecdote you want to share, leave it in the comment section.
As you read, if there is something that you find even remotely enjoyable, give it a like. If you find yourself audible laughing, send it over to a friend who might benefit from a laugh.
Thank you for reading!
You’ll get a kick out of it!