SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Last Friday afternoon, Loekie Morales received some very good news, the author stated in a weekend statement. “The Happiest person on earth, that was the overall feeling I have carried over the weekend. Why? Loekie Morales asks. Because of this letter I have gotten from the ‘Biblioteka Nashonal Kòrsou’, the National Library of Curaҫao.
‘The deadline for submitting the stories and poems for the gift book on the occasion of the “Siman di Ban Lesa” (reading book week) 2019 has now expired. We greatly appreciate the contributions of all authors and poets and would like to thank all of you in this way for your participation. Our expectations have been amply exceeded by so much creativity, originality and talent from local and international writers and poets. Our judging committee was then faced with a very difficult task in making a selection. We have received a total of 24 authors and poets, 41 stories and poems. As mentioned in our earlier letter, we would select 15 stories/poems from all entries for this book.’
“Then a list with the winning authors and the title of their stories follows: Loekie Morales with ‘Ghosts in the Octagon.’ This letter mentions furthermore, ‘We will contact the above-mentioned authors for the next steps in the publication process,” Morales stated.
“The great thing about this, is the history of how the entrée of this story came about, Morales stated. The requirements of this competition were, that a short story of between the 500 and 1.250 words had to be submitted before a deadline.
“The story must be original and takes place on Curaҫao. The message in the story must be, that something great of Curaҫao is portrayed that the Tourist enjoys and makes him or her wanting to come back.
“A story also needs to portray that the Island must be kept clean for ourselves and for tourists. The SHATA and other organizations, which promotes the island and its economic growth, are sponsoring publishing of this book and the celebration of children book week in Curaҫao.
“Because of the deadline and my daily packed program, I would not be able to participate in the competition. During one of those days before the deadline, I was searching something totally different on my computer, and suddenly a story from the old box popped up.
“It was a story I have written in the nineties but was back then not selected to be part of one of the stories of the book ‘Zonnesproetjes’, my first published book. I was surprised, that this story from the old box came out of a sudden. And when I read it, I knew immediately that it would perfectly fit the criteria. I had strongly the feeling that the universe gave me a present at that moment.
“I adjusted the language with the writers experience I have gained over the years and send it to the National Library of Curaҫao. You now know the rest of the story,’ Morales added. I am truly grateful for every single beautiful thing that happens to me,” Morales concluded.