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I won a Mother's Day writing contest on [Link Removed]. No not 1st place, I received 4th. The winning is special, but not as special as the judges reading my words and liking the way I put them together. It makes me feel good. No, I take that back-I feel great.

The prize doesn't matter (okay it does). What does is being told that what you do and how you do it touches someone else in such a way that they want to recognize you for it. Especially when they are NOT related to you in anyway!

My mom and dad get teary-eyed and give me a hug. My significant other (you've heard of him, my own personal knight in shining armor) can say "wow". The children I gave birth too can say something akin to "I didn't know you could write like this" and mean it in a sincerely complimentary way.

But when wonderful people, such as those of you who are reading this column now, take the time to let me know that this is a job well done-Well! That's when my heart and hear just soar!

When someone ask-so what did you win? I honestly have to go back to the website and re-read my prize! I just become so overwhelmed by the recognition I forget that there's actual "loot" involved. This time the essay and maybe a picture will be included in Bev Mahone's next ebook! What could possibly be more exciting, except someone offering to publish a real book of my own?????

My son-the handsome, tattooed, soon to be a UCI graduate was more practical, he wanted to use my talents to edit what is to be his last undergraduate term paper. My pleasure, I also happen to be terrific with a red marker.

My co-workers think I'm hilarious. "Carine-you get 4th place out of about 170 entrants and you don't care beyond that? Why not?"

I suppose it's a legitimate query. My daughter just shook her head-"Mom, you're so good at writing-quit the day job and go for it" Obviously she is my adventurous one.

The answer to the above: When I write, I put my all into the words and they are what matter. Whether it's an article about "The Importance of Early Intervention in Rheumatoid Arthritis", a restaurant review, an article on baking or a column here on "What's Cooking"-it's part of who I am.

To be recognized for the worth of your passion is the prize, the rest is some mighty nice extras.

Carine, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


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