Two months ago I sent a short story in to the “Haunted Astoria” contest for their big Halloween weekend celebration. Writers were encouraged to visit the Clatsop County Historical Museum in Astoria to check out their display, “The Most Wicked Place on Earth,” before composing and submitting a maximum 1500 word story.

So I visited the museum and took copious notes. I wrote the story of Rebecca and Charles, who missed living happily ever after when Charles was shanghaied before Rebecca could arrive by train on the very trestles he helped to build. Alas! Rebecca had to support herself by working in a brothel! I used lots of 1898 street, place, event and people names. The title was, “Remind Me Again,” and it was 1490 words.

I’m delighted to report that “Remind Me Again” took second place in the contest, and garnered me $50 cash and a $10 certificate to the Winter Market in Astoria. It was definitely worth my time and effort to create that story. And next time I get discouraged about my writing career, I’ll just look at the photocopied check here on my Wall of Inspiration and Remind Myself Again that persistence pays.