But that’s not the whole story; I was also swamped with a bit of fun. One such bit of fun was creating The Sully Award, an honor to recognize “Excellence In Writerishness.”
The first and (so far, only) recipient of The Sully Award was Mary Gillilan, the publisher of Clover, a superb literary magazine. You should buy a copy of Clover, by the way—not only because my stuff was published in issues 11 and 12, but also because my Clover essay, “Short Fuse,” got me a Pushcart Prize nomination. If you need a more convincing reason to buy Clover, here it is: Each issue is chock full of stories by writers who write better than I do.
Mary got her Sully in September. She found it nifty.
You may be wondering why I named the award “Sully.” I’ll explain:
Once upon a time, Laurel Leigh, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad person from Whatcom County, Washington, mercilessly launched a long and brutal cross-country, online smear campaign against me. The reason? She wanted me to draw her a doodle of a salamander.
As many of you know, I sometimes doodle on this blog. I sometimes even run contests where the winner can get a doodle of anything he or she wants. But this… This was extortion. I could not abide by it. To do so would be unseemly.
I tried to resist Laurel — I really did — but the forces against me were too great. She enlisted her many minions to assault me at all hours of the day and night. She forced innocent children to do her bidding. She shed tears of woe. And then she threatened me with a doll that is possessed by the devil.
And then—worst of all—Laurel got me to like her.
Laurel really is a lovely person. Persistent, single-minded, and sometimes unseemly, yes, but lovely.
So I drew her a salamander.
I named him Sully and the name stuck. By the way, if you want to get Laurel’s gleeful take on these salamander shenanigans, click here.
The reason I bring up Sully and the honor in his name, is because I was thinking of turning The Sully Award for Excellence in Writerishness into an annual writing competition.
I don’t know the particulars of the competition yet, but if you folks are interested, I’ll put together the rules, get some prizes, and assemble a team of judges.
So! Let me know what you think in the comments!
If there’s enough enthusiasm for this thing, I’ll do it. And then, who knows? A coveted Sully may soon find a place of honor in your very own home.