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. :)


1 comment:

  1. Life within the proximity of global battles can really be tough and unstable. Thanks for sharing such a very affecting story, to remind us of the dimensionalities about the conflicts that we sometimes ignore, including their effects on our everyday lives. I believe compensations and benefits should be accordingly responsive, especially for military veterans and their wives.

    Brad Post @ Jan Dils


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