I just finished the most compelling biography I've ever read -- The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raused 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less.
I checked the book out of the library on Monday and finished it up this afternoon. I've never met anyone like Evelyn Ryan, jingle writer and contest winner extraordinaire. Sure, I know lots of up-beat, optimistic people. I even know a few people who have entered and won contests. But I've never met anyone who can stay so unflappably happy against such grinding desperation. Anyone who thinks their lot in life is hard ought to take a chapter out of Evenlyn Ryan's book.
Part of the fun of reading this book was remembering when I won free Suave products for a year as part of contest they ran in 1996. I also won a recipe contest sponsored by Dick's grocery store in Davis County. I entered a recipe for homemade cranberry relish. Problem was, when it published, I realized that I'd miss-typed it. So I actually won on a faulty recipe. (It must have sounded good.) Really, the Suave contest is the only big prize I've won. Future entries I considered always disqualified professional writers. I don't feel 'professional' now, but I have written for newspapers and wrote a weely self-syndicated parenting column for 3 years. I guess that's professional enough.
Have you ever won a contest? My friend Deon won Edward's Furnicture's 'Fully Furnished Fall' a few years back. I won a CD by calling in on the radio once. Oh, and long ago I used to call in and try to get on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' when Regis Philbin was the host. I got to question 4 of their 5. But never made it on the show. Anyone want to share their success? Or failures? Do tell.