I received the most wonderful news. I did not win the 2019 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. I submitted my book, Random Fragments, in May of this year. I could say that I’ve been waiting anxiously to receive word regarding the outcome of my submission but that wouldn’t be true. I knew that once I had completed the book and submitted it that I had already won.

You see, last year around this time I had the following “issues’ in my life.

• Incurable gastrointestinal issue.
• Constant pain while awake.
• Sleep reduced to periods of two hours at a time.
• Huge weight gain due to illness.
• Looking forward to living the rest of my life in pain.
• Hermit.
• Single.
• Alone.
• Given up on writing.

This year has looked like this in a nutshell.

• Completely healed.
• Regular sleep.
• Lost 50 – 55 pounds.
• Pain-free.
• Not a hermit.
• New friends.
• New church.
• Single but not alone.
• Learning Spanish.
• Re-learning French.
• 200+ new pieces of poetry (some in Spanish).
• 20+ new articles.

A lot can change in a year. Random Fragments was almost entirely composed of re-written work from years past. The rest of the new work has been written since May of 2019.

I attribute all of this healing to God and my relationship with Him. It hasn’t been an easy journey but it’s been worthwhile and continues as I grow in my faith. I apologize for the “bullet” point format but there’s so much that’s taken place that the story is too long to write in a single or even a short series of blog posts.

I wanted you to know, yes, you, that no matter how your life looks now, it can change in an instant. As long as you have breath in your body keep on trying. Never give up. It’s only when you give up that you really lose. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt.