A Writing Career Made From Dinner By Christi Gillentine

Long before I began my writing career, I was dreaming of it. Like most closet writers just starting out I worked full time while writing and submitted pieces to magazines in between the cracks of my busy life. My big plan was to build a writing career around published clips. Only problem seemed to be that I was rejected many times more than published. Truth be told, three years into my fledging career, my clips were still embarrassingly minuscule. I can hardly say I had a portfolio. My failure to become a published writer steamed from writing about things I really didn’t know. In the beginning, I would write about any subject if I thought I had a chance of getting published. What I should have been writing was on subjects I was passionate about, those things that lit me up inside, even if they were simple.

In May of 1999, after nearly two years of rejections and unanswered queries, I received a letter in the mail. It was a thick envelope, and mistaking it as junk mail, I almost threw it away. I tore open the envelope and as I pulled out the contents, a check for $100 dollars fell to my kitchen counter. The letter informed me I had won a national recipe contest. One that I had entered over a year before. The package also contained copies of the publication that my recipe was printed in. I had a vague memory of entering the contest. It took a few moments to even remember what had spurred me to send in my recipe