Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Fortune cookie.

Events sometimes occur in the strangest ways. I recently entered a novel in a contest. I was in the process of preparing my novel, Lessons from an Unimportant Planet, for self publication when I received an email informing me of a contest sponsored by CreateSpace. My novel satisfied all the requirements for the contest so after a day or so deliberation I decided why not? A few more days of editing and I sent the novel in.

How serendipitous, I thought, receiving notification of the contest as I was preparing my novel for publication. But I was not yet finished with coincidental happenings. I had dinner in a Chinese restaurant a week or so after entering the novel in the contest and of course received the customary fortune cookie at the end of the meal. I have always liked those crunchy little treats and enjoy the messages inside them. I broke open the cookie and, after getting a series of lucky numbers and finding out how to say ‘beverage’ in Chinese, I turned the little piece of paper over and read my fortune. There, to my surprise, was printed the chief message of the novel I had entered in the contest. I am not claiming any significance for this set of circumstances, but I must admit I find the happening most unusual. I am open to and awaiting any more noteworthy occurrences.

What was the message in the fortune cookie? It was as follows:

The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.

One thing I considered especially significant was the fact that the writer of the message in the fortune cookie had expressed in eighteen words what it had taken me 68,000 words and thirty nine chapters to accomplish. Why and how did I use such a large number of words? You’ll have to buy a copy of the book to find out.

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