Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Imagine my surprise …

In writing on February 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

… when I was about to walk out the front door on February 18, 2013 and the mailman was just leaving the front step. February 18 was Family Day, a long weekend holiday. I wasn’t expecting mail.

Imagine my surprise …

… when I spotted and then plucked an envelope, addressed to me from the Ontario Arts Council, out of my mailbox. “Well, here we are. My ‘we regret to inform you’ notice,” I said to my husband as I brought the letter inside. “At least I can stop checking the mailbox every day now.”

Imagine my surprise …

… when I tore open the envelope and found it to be fuller than I remember it being in previous years. There was more than just the usual one-pager in there.

Imagine my surprise …

… when I slowly opened the top flap of paper, upside down, and, peeking into the fold, quickly searched the inverted and creased first line for the word “regret”

Imagine my surprise …

… when I couldn’t find it. When I read and reread those upside down words a couple of times before it dawned on me that “regret” had been replaced

by the word


“… I am pleased to inform you …”

Pleased? Pleased?

I flipped the paper rightside up and unfolded the entire thing as my eyes skipped wildly across the rest of the opening paragraph:

“Dear Claudia …”

“… the Ontario Arts Council …”

“… you have been awarded …”

“… ‘The Other Wyre’ …”

” … cheque is enclosed.”

My misty hazel-browns slid down to examine the handwritten signature at the bottom.

And then I rechecked the name at the top.

It was still mine. Claudia Osmond.

Imagine my family’s surprise …

… when I jumped up and down on the living room floor in my snow boots, coat, scarf and mitts, shouting and crying and crying and shouting:

“I got it! I got it! I got it! I can’t believe I got it!”

I still can’t believe it. The process is fierce. What makes a successful applicant is unpindownable.

But it’s true. Thank my good God, it is true.

I am beyond grateful to the Ontario Arts Council and its jurors for their support and affirmation.

And for believing an eleven-year-old girl named Theodora has a story worth telling.

  1. It’s so wonderful that the jury was able to fund your project! Your post proves that efforts and persistence in re-applying can be very rewarding. Thank you for sharing your joy with us. All the best for your upcoming project! — Ontario Arts Council.

    • Thank you, Daphnee! It’s so affirming to be supported by such an amazing program. The OAC gives creators like me one more reason to keep pressing on. It truly is a rewarding experience.

  2. Congrats, Claudia! Great post, too! I noticed myself skipping wildly across the rest of your post, to see what the surprise was about. Well captured your emotions!

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