If you open today's West Australian newspaper to page 61 you will find the winning entry of the Summer Agenda Writing Competition. It tells of a day in the life of a typical family of West Aussies, their journey through the scorching heat of a Perth summer.
I wrote it. I wrote a story and entered a competition and I won.
I have never won anything in my life, not even a raffle, so you can imagine my excitement when late yesterday afternoon I received a call from the West Australian Newspaper to let me know that I had won the writing competition and my story would be published today. I was literally jumping up and down on the spot. I was on the wooden floorboards at the time and it was echoing around the room. The lady must have thought a train was thundering past. She said the other reason she was calling was to see if Shannon was male or female. Fair enough.
What didn't occur to me at the time was to make sure that my surname was recorded correctly. It's a beautiful, long and unusual name, German by way of Burma. Everyone mispronounces it and it's often spelled wrong. I just didn't expect the state paper to get it wrong.
Last night felt like Christmas to me, except I was the only one who was expecting a gift the following morning. I even drove to the local service station just in case the papers had arrived early. In my mind I had already framed my winning story and hung it on the wall of my new study.
So when I woke this morning all I could think about was rushing down to the service station to buy 10 copies of the paper. My name in print. My name in print. Do the happy dance!
At 6.19am a congratulatory text message appeared from my Mum who was very proud.
Four minutes later another text arrived from my Mum. This one said "Unfortunately they left the 't' off your last name."
The first time my name is in print and it is spelled wrong. A rather inauspicious start perhaps.
I could throw a tanty like the Blonde Bombshell. I did consider it. But perhaps it simply the cosmos giving me a really good story for when I am rich and famous. There I will be, an interview with Parkinson or Oprah. They ask me about the first piece of writing I ever did. I will laugh graciously and tell a witty little anecdote about how they managed to spell my name wrong the first time it was in print. And they will chuckle and say that now I am so famous no one will ever spell my name wrong. Or perhaps be so famous that just like them I will only need one name: Shannon.
Or perhaps I need to stop daydreaming and get back to work.
PS I will put the story up on this blog in a few days