When you enter any competition you have several outcomes. In dog showing, there are several levels to place. In writing competitions there is usually only one placement. Unfortunately, I did not win a place in either the South Florida Youth Poet Laureate or O’ Miami Poetry Festival this year. I was invited to go the the SFYPL award ceremony but my poetry group with the Miami Dade Public Library System is the same evening and I will be doing that. The project that I wrote about a while back for the O’Miami PF will still happen fortunately. I will just be doing it independently with the library. I have decided to do it in July, on the 12th, in honor of Thoreau’s birthday, and thus National Simplicity Day, instead of in April, which is Poetry Month.

I think that competing in anything as a young person is a good idea. You learn how to handle both success and failure which will help when you are older. My mom told me that the mother of the young woman that I was showing a dog for asked her if I was going to cry when I did not place in the group ring recently. My mom said that it did not phase me, that in fact, to her knowledge it had never phased me to not win at something. She owed that to my fiercely independent nature she said. The woman was a little surprised to hear that. My mom told her about how I refused at 4 years old to allow her to help me with learning how to ride a bike. How I told her that she could go inside and watch from the window if she liked. And how I succeeded in riding the bike that day regardless of how many times I fell down. Never crying. She also told the woman that the only time that I cried at a dog show was when some horrible woman told me that my dress was too short. It wasn’t. That really upset my mother, she is totally against one female shaming another, especially, an adult shaming a child.

Moral of this is as cliche as it gets, just get back on the bike.