May 29, 2018
Dear Friends at SFK,
I am the son of a Southern Baptist chicken farmer, born and raised in a dry country in the Piney Woods of East Texas by a village of barely 100. Television, even after we finally acquired a screen, was never a staple. Books were my escape. My literal passion lead naturally to writing, mostly poetry. After graduating college, my career in the steel industry served to fill my sails and carry me around the country. Needless to say, my worldview has naturally broadened over the past 20 years, as I’ve lived in Dallas, Arkansas, Upstate NY, and finally settled in the Pacific Northwest. Mark Twain’s words ring true to me:
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
My submission, titled In Verse is a 58,000 word story set in Dallas—The adventures of Vernon Lackey, a principled poet and conflicted glamour-press editor. I didn’t thoroughly realize it in-process, but I was probing my own thoughts on race relations, the roots of (and exceptions to) stereotypes, and the ongoing immigration debate as the story unfolded. The title itself is a play on words—a tribute to our differences and the poetic dance of contrasting facets of life from different perspectives.
I want to sincerely thank you for offering a full-length novel competition pro-bono. It provides me with slight hope in the slim chance that I might not have to fork over quite so much personal equity in order to make good on my promise of a published (if self-published) copy of my book to at least 52 other people I’m thankful for this year. My standard cover letter, explaining Project Gratitude 2018, is included on the next page, just in case you’re curious.
Godspeed to your bifocals in the age of the internet,