Well here's some good news! (Whew, did I need some of that.)
Let's see. What happened this week? My dad, 87 years old, is not doing well and we cannot visit him because of Covid-19. The Wisconsin Republicans and the US Supreme Court forced us to vote amid a pandemic and some 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment. It's Holy Week and Pastors in southern states are insisting that they will hold Easter church services, despite the fact this will put the entire population at further risk. The global death toll, now approaching 100,000, has doubled in one week.
Also, my essay, Beautiful Monster, won second place in Streetlight Magazine's memoir/essay contest. (One of these things is not like the others.) On one hand, this last bit of news seems inconsequential given the severity our global situation. But for me it was something firm to grasp on the monkey bars we now call life. If anything, this pandemic has made me realize that we need to celebrate whatever we can and continue to be present for every moment, good or otherwise.
So I thank you Susan Shafarzek for your very kind words, they could not have come at a better time:
"In our second prize winning essay, Amy Stonestrom, writing from “the Minnesota-Wisconsin border,” tells us the story that would be magical all on its own, if we could only be there. This essay, called Beautiful Monster, a narrative about a local, annual happening, called The Hot Air Affair, a massive celebration of hot-air ballooning, takes us from humor to wonder to the apprehension of things fearful—in the space of three pages. It’s short, but powerful. Her masterful descriptions and poignant perceptions only add to the charm. And I do mean “charm” in the old, old sense. There really is an enchantment here."
The essay will be published this summer.