Winning Combination

I spun the combination lock again. It must’ve been my tenth attempt. I started to panic. With a towel wrapped around me and dripping wet from the pool, I knew I could be in trouble. My clothing, shoes, purse, phone and car keys were locked inside the locker. And, my sole contact lens! Finally, the lock clicked open. Relief!

Determined not to risk that again, I decided to replace my fifteen year old lock. I asked the Canadian Tire cashier  if I could set my own combination for my new lock. He shook his head “no”. He said the combination would be found on the back of the lock.

I admitted my disappointment to my hubby. I had hoped to set my new lock using a combination I could easily remember. Like my measurements, or at least my ideal measurements.

I opened the package.


On the back was: 36-26-36. Perfect!

My hubby says I can’t post the combination but I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find my locker. The point is sometimes things work out for the best, in spite of the odds.

At times, situations may not look encouraging. I’ve decided to enter a writing contest. Who knows? Maybe, I could win some money to put toward my daughter’s wedding this summer. After writing the “winning” story, I decided to contact a local professional creative writer for advice.

 Although  my story’s subject matter touched her,  the writer felt my writing wasn’t exceptional. She stated the judges were looking for “exceptional”. She said despite entering many contests herself, she’d never won once. She didn’t stop there. Oh, no! She said I’d be better off banking my money for the wedding than paying for advice. Ouch!

After I nursed my bruised ego, I did three things. I thanked her for her honesty. I told her I was going to do my best at tweaking my story and would enter the contest anyways. And, I picked up an extra shift at work to obtain extra guaranteed cash.

Well, guess what? The writer sent an unexpected reply. She said I caught her at a good moment. She just finished watching the movie, “Eddie the Eagle”. Eddie was an underdog; the last place finisher for ski-jumping in the Olympics.  It became apparent early on that the other athletes were far more skilled than Eddie. But, he had a winning smile and was full of optimism.

Eddie told reporters, “Optimistically, I get a gold medal. Realistically, I get last place. But, it could be worse. I could be dead.” Eddie sent the message anyone could possibly be a star.

The writer told me, ”Who am I to stand in the way of your determination?” She gave me several writing tips. Mostly grammatical in nature. To boot, the advice was “on the house”!

The odds of me winning are slim. But, the odds of me winning without entering are nil. I’m going to perfect my story. You never know, there might be a judge moved enough by the subject matter to overlook my lack of finesse in writing.

My hubby encouraged me, “If the writer never won a contest, maybe she doesn’t know exceptional writing when she reads it.”  

I’m having fun honing my skills. Like Eddie, optimistically, I get the first prize.

2 thoughts on “Winning Combination

  1. Who’s to say that your writing isn’t the writing that the judges are looking for? Great writing, or good writing, or exceptional writing is all in the eyes of the beholder. Go for it, and best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s