“The Rollaway” Makes the Short List!


I found out on the fifteenth that my story, “The Rollaway,” made the short list for Online Writing Tips’s Short Fiction Prize! I didn’t get around to blogging about it before now because I have just returned from a trip myself, just like my protagonist. It seems appropriate that a story about travel should be doing well at the same time I am traveling. It’s also comforting, as I am currently mired in two large projects, and often it seems I will never finish either of them. Again, I am grateful to Online Writing Tips for recognizing the story as among the top twelve out of almost 600, even if it does not win one of their prizes for the top three.

I did develop some concern about the story on my trip, however, because the flight attendants alluded to two-wheeled suitcases like the one pictured above and featured in the story as “rollaboards.” Now I am a pretty meticulous researcher, and I could swear that before writing the story I had checked to make sure “rollaway” was the, or at least a, correct term for such luggage. But on rechecking, I could not get the results I think I remember. Possibly I just typed in “rollaway luggage,” saw some pictures of the right thing, and went to town. 

I felt embarrassed. What if my story won the prize, and the whole world found out I do not know the difference between a piece of luggage and a storable bed? But now my son assures me he heard flight attendants allude to such luggage as “rollaway.” Even if he is right, I am left with the nagging fear that this is a Southern term, like “lightning bug” for “firefly” or “buggy” for “grocery cart,” and that will not fly, since my protagonist is from Connecticut. Any feedback on this pressing concern is welcome.

Photo credit: My rollaboard, taken by me, 2 July 2019.