The Weekly Alibi is an alternative paper in Albuquerque, going on twenty years old. I don’t often read it these days, as I am getting older and and am feeling the pressing need to slough off the unnecessary. But back in the 1990s and on up until the middle of the last decade, hardly a week would go by that I didn’t snag the latest Alibi to find out what movies and shows were current and tantalizing.
Besides its movie and art listings, its reviews and commentaries and other features, its personals–I looked at the “I Saw You” listings week after week, hoping to have been seen–The Alibi also ran writing contests. They ran a Valentine’s Day poetry contest I won so many times, I finally stopped entering. They also ran a short story contest every year. When they first started out, they were called NuCity, but some other publication with a similar name and more money threatened to sue them, so they changed their name. Right before the name change, one of my stories won an honorable mention in the annual contest, and was published. I was thirty-seven years old, had been a creative writer since early adolescence, but had not had a short story published until that time (because I was not naturally very good at it, and it took me a long time to get any good at it at all).
That story isn’t the one I posted this week. In 2000, I won The Alibi‘s short fiction contest with a piece called “Linear Perspective”. I was very happy. The prize was admission to the Southwest Writers something something that fall, where I got to hang around with real writers who wrote mysteries and romances and true crime and all that kind of stuff that actually sells. I got to meet editors and agents, and buy things, and watch a fellow writer get shit-faced drunk at the big banquet.
“Linear Perspective” got more hits on my old website than anything besides “The Gordon Lish Notes”. I expect that people would Google “linear perspective”, hoping to get some practical information about visual art, and end up touching upon my site by accident.