Krista’s blog is about “running miles through the park, the forest, and on hot, dusty gravel roads, thrashing at black flies,” and finally obtaining “victory!” Except for the black flies, her imagery tracks with my reality about as much as the image of Donald Trump in the Oval Office, but just as I’m about to move on to a better waste of my “writing time,” I glance at Krista’s last line: “ . . . focus on the win, the victory — that moment of glory and pride you’ll remember forever.”

This is her WordPress photo challenge this week, and it’s an easy one for me.

The image came immediately to mind.

It wasn’t a marathon, but it felt like one. The only physical exertion involved was walking back and forth between the metro and the Johns Hopkins campus in D.C., occasionally hefting a beer mug with my fellow students, and typing, typing, typing.

And here is the result: it’s me in December 2013, mailing out my thesis on the last night of class in the Masters of Writing program at Johns Hopkins. I would have been proud of myself in any case, but given that I completed this whole program while taking care of my mentally ill brother who was on his way to the Great Beyond — thank God, unbeknownst to me or I might not have finished my degree — I am even more amazed at myself.

I Rock!

I Rock!

I can’t say I’m a smashing success as a writer (yet), but I’m slowly submitting my essays and collecting rejection letters for smug publication once I’m famous. Since graduating, I’ve closed my brother’s estate, am on the verge of closing my mom’s, did a ton of repairs on my little writing retreat in New Hampshire, and then, through no design of my own, became a pastor. So I’ve been doing some stuff, just not writing much beyond this blog. That’ll change soon, I hope. I’m ready for another shot of victory.

On to that Pulitzer!