A Sacred Bond, a Story, a Scholarship
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“I was dead. I stood still in the corridor, motionless, not knowing what to do. I was alone on the mountain, helpless and hopeless, waving my hands wishing someone could see.”
This is how I opened my story, a true account of how my mother overcame breast cancer and all the hardships in between. It captured all the physical and psychological stages during her treatment. It reviewed all the changes this illness had wrought on my mother as well as on me. It won the Creative Writing Scholarship organised by the Department of English.
This story would not have been an award-winning piece if I hadn’t checked my email that one day in March, when I saw the headline “BAEPC Creative Writing Scholarship.” I decided to give it a shot. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop, and I realised how much I actually love writing. Writing provides a release for my sorrow and despair. Every single word I wrote stemmed from an urge to lower my defences and fears. It took many hours to write, edit, and polish. I honed every single sentence. I stayed up all night. I sought comments from friends and accepted all kinds of criticism so that this story would become my masterpiece. Yet, I started off without any hope. I never thought I would be this lucky to get a scholarship.
After I submitted my work, I was very nervous. I checked emails every day hoping my work would reach the finals. I eventually received emails saying I made it into the top 12 and was then a finalist from amongst 100 contributions. My mother advised me not to have expectations so as to avoid disappointment. After three months, I got an email to attend an interview with Dr Rodney Jones, Associate Head of the Department of English. During the interview, I opened my heart and discussed the intention of my story. I shared my dream of becoming a writer or an editor. I told him that this story and the competition inspired and encouraged me to become what I really want to be. This award is the best gift for someone who always believes she is born to be a tiny leaf instead of a rose in blossom.
When I was small, I hated English. I always got poor results in English tests and exams. In secondary school, I started to appreciate English and took English Literature as my HKCEE and HKALE subject and I enjoyed my classes very much. I have taken many courses, including Asian Literature in English, Creative Writing, Cross-cultural Organisational Communication and Promotional Writing. These courses exposed me to a much broader view of literature and provided opportunities for creative writing. This kind of training is very helpful to my career aspiration: to become an editor or a public relations officer. I am grateful I am being taught by good teachers with a focus on professionalism.
I will continue to write. I have finished my second story about the father-child relationship and some more smaller pieces. The scholarship has no doubt encouraged and enlightened me. It tells me that I can actually write. I am so glad that I have found a new direction to pursue after graduation.
“The wind blew steadily. I looked up at the sky; it was a clear and sunny day. The purity of the cloudless sky projected an infinite beauty. I glanced at my mum; she caught my look and smiled back blissfully. It was the deepest beauty that I had ever seen.”
This is how I ended my story. This is how I feel about life as well. Fully contented.