Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Five Calendar Years

So, this morning I was surfing through twitter and I saw this tweet:

I was all YAY! A literary prize! I live in BC! Maybe I can apply!

Before I go any further, let me add that I in no way have delusions of grandeur. I write. I write good things, and I write some not-so-good things. I probably will never win a literary prize, but I have to admit, I'd like to someday write something that was worthy of recognition. Maybe I haven't written that yet, but someday. It's a secret (well, not so secret now...) dream of mine.

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, right? So it was worth a look.

I clicked on the link, which goes directly to the rules. And yes, my eyes were a bit big for the award's specifics. It says this...

The recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence will be recognized as having:
  • written a substantial body of literary work throughout their career; and
  • contributed significantly to the literary community/industry of the Province of British Columbia.

Obviously, I have not contributed significantly to the literary community of the Province of BC. Heck, I just got here 6 months ago. So no, I'm not really the one for this prize. But with an eye for future possibilities I read on to the eligibility requirements.

  1. Writers must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents who were either born in British Columbia or whose principle place of residence has been British Columbia for at least the last five (5) full calendar years.

There it is.

At least the last five full calendar years.

You all know military spouses move a lot. You can read my rant on this HERE. It pretty much says it all.

Since I began my journey with the military as an Officer Cadet more than twenty-five years ago, I have not lived ANYWHERE for five full calendar years.

Let me repeat that. I have not lived ANYWHERE for five full calendar years. 

I managed to get six years in Ontario, but lived in two different places (with the option to make that four...which we, as a family, decided against) in that time frame. It's a big province.

So basically, this award is out--likely permanently--because I choose to follow the man I love. And, I might add, have a great adventure doing so.

This is not the first literary award I've looked at that I was not eligible for because of my status as a very mobile military spouse, and it won't be the last. And I have no idea how to fix it. I'm not going to stop moving, and I'm not going to stop writing, and I'm not going to give up on my dream of someday writing something so exceptional as to warrant recognition.

Thankfully there are some awards, the biggies like the Giller Prize, the Governor General's awards and Commonwealth book prizes, where being a resident anywhere in the country is enough. I can dream about those ones. Those are big dreams for far out possibilities.

I know...Perhaps I can be instrumental in advocating for a Military Family Literary Award? In fact, that's a great idea. An award for people like me, who write and move and deal with the unique stressors of life as an author and military spouse.

Anyone want to help me work on that? Make it a nice juicy award with lots of publicity and a huge pot of prize money?

Hey, a girl can dream.

Until then, I need to get back to writing. :)


Monday, January 5, 2015

Military Monday: Military Wives Choirs

Happy New Year!

The presents are open, the parties are over and the kids are back to school. Let me just say that you have not seen holiday celebration insanity until you've been closely associated with a military base! It was an amazing season, with concerts and parties and dinners and fun, but I'm so very glad to be getting back into a routine--and back to writing, blogging and a bit of normalcy.

Although I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions, I am a huge fan of making goals and seeing the fruits of my hard work not only ripen but multiply...and one of those goals is about to be realized! It's a goal that has nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with being a military spouse.

After several meetings and emails and phone calls, much research and a whole lot of luck, this week will mark the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Military Wives Choir Comox! If all goes well, this amazing organization will be setting up shop on my local base, and I cannot wait to be a part of it.

Have you heard of the Military Wives Choir movement? It started just 5 years ago in 2010 when a group of wives (yes, just women) in the UK got together to sing and support one another while their husbands were deployed--a chance to learn, grow and get away from the daily stress of being on their own. The choir grew rapidly with the support of Gareth Malone as their choirmaster, and in  2011 they released their first single Wherever You Are, which shot to number one on the UK charts. There are now more than 80 choirs around the UK and the world.

The first Canadian Military Wives Choir started in 2013 in Ottawa, and the Comox choir will spread the movement to the west coast of Canada. From humble beginnings great things are accomplished. A chorister since my elementary school days, I've wanted to be a part of a choir like this since I saw the Wherever You Are video way back in 2011. So excited to sing with the wonderful people who support those in uniform--Military Wives!

Have you set a New Year's goal? Feel free to share it below!