Sometimes giving it all you've got is as good as succeeding.
Such was the case with me recently when I attempted to have a small preview story published in local newspaper.
This story was about an art auction whose proceeds were to go toward helping refugees in Hamburg. The auction was going to take place on Sunday, so the story needed to be in the paper before that day.
However, I had totally forgotten that I wanted to write this story and when I finally did remember, I was absolutely nowhere near a computer
I know it's hard to believe that in today's day and age there was no computer to be found, but it was true.
So I knew what I had to do. I had to turn up my game and try a new approach.
I got out a spiral notebook and started drafting the story. And I mean drafting. After writing the story one time and getting it pretty much down, I rewrote the piece on another piece of paper -- a true second draft.
Then I did a third draft and a fourth. Then, because the newspaper I was pitching the piece to was a German language publication, I translated the piece into German. Then, I asked a friend who is bilingual if she could edit my translation and she did, again by good old pen and ink.
The next day, I was getting ready to type the 250-word piece into my phone and send it when someone told me that there was actually a computer in the place I was staying.
So I went over to where this computer was, but when I got there, lo and behold I discovered that the "public" computer was a money operated affair and I needed to have change to operate it. So I went to a store nearby, bought a cup of coffee, broke a 20 euro bill, came back to the computer and tapped out the piece.
Later that day, I got an email from the editor to whom I pitched the story. She said she liked the piece and thought she'd be able to squeeze it into the Saturday paper, but could I send a photo?
Because I was under the impression that I still had a tiny bit more time, I emailed my contact insteading of calling him to ask if he had a photo.
But it turned out that I probably should have called my contact. That's because by the time I got the photo, it was the next day, and by the time I got that photo to the editor, she told me I had missed the deadline for the Saturday paper.
As they say in German, "schade" -- "What a shame."
Yes, I was disappointed that the piece wouldn't be published, but you know what? After the editor gave me the bad news, I still felt all right. I went over in my mind all the things I had done -- all the hoops that I had jumped through to try to get this thing published -- and I felt a sense of pride.
The story is below. I don't know how good your German is, but if you want to plug it into Google translate and kind of see what you get, be my guest.
Eine Kunst-Auktion zugunsten der Flüchtlingshilfe wird am Sonntag den
19. Juni in Altona stattfinden. Das dadurch gesammelte Geld wird
verendet um syrischen und anderen Flüchtlingen in Hamburg zu helfen.
Die Auktion wird in der St. Petri Gemeinde Stattfinden und werden die
Gemälde von sechs lokalen Künstlern versteigert.
„Nachdem ich von freiwilligen Helfern der Flüchtlinge gehört hatte,
das jeder zusätzliche Euro gebraucht wird, wusste ich, dass ich etwas
machen wollte um zu helfen,“ sagte der Altonaer Künstler Volker Burk
(75), der die Idee zu der Auktion hatte.
Der Stil der Gemälde reicht von abstrakt über surrealistisch bis
minimalistisch. Die Gemälde werden voraussichtlich 150,- bis 200,-
euros pro Stück erzielen.
Die gesamten Erlöse der Auktion werden den Maltesern gespendet, einer
der vielen Organisation die den Flüchtlingen in Hamburg helfen.
Stefanie Langost, eine Mitarbeiterin der Malteser, sagte, dass das
gesammelte Geld aus der Auktion genutzt werden wird, um Kochkurse und
andere Kurse zur Verbesserung der Lebensqualität für rund 350
Flüchtlinge in Osdorf zu finanzieren.
Die Auktion am Sonntag beginnt um 17 Uhr. Die St. Petri Gemeinde liegt
in der Schmarjestraße 33.