"I never expected this, even though I have been to the Bali Discovery Tours website, and have seen it with my own two eyes. People are already calling and sending email congratulations to me".
Those were the words of Marsha Browne email@example.com, from Winchester, Massachusetts (U.S.A.), when balidiscovery.com contacted her to tell her she had just won the 2nd Bali Dream Holiday Contest.
And just look at the list of prizes she's won for sending in her interpretation of a Bali Dream Holiday: 2 tickets on Singapore Airlines, 7 nights at the Four Seasons Private Estates Bali at Jimbaran Bay, tours and transfers from Bali Discovery Tours, rafting and cycling excursions from Sobek, luxurious spa treatments from Mandara Spa, a helicopter tour from Air Bali, and Cooking Lessons from Bumbu Bali/Rumah Bali.
When we asked Marsha to tell us a bit more about herself, she related, "Of all the ways I think of myself, writer is always at the top of my list, no matter what job or situation in which I find myself. Over the years I have worked as a teaching tennis professional, a business systems analyst, a technical writer, a computer software systems manager, and a high technology executive. More recently, I have been producing local television shows, and teaching memoir writing and journaling at area adult education centers north of Boston."
So, what motivated her to write the winning entry in this year's contest? Marsha explained, "When I wrote the essay, I wanted most for readers to connect to the sublime pleasures of the island. I never even considered that I might actually win! My husband and I will of course be coming soon!"
Was Marsha's entry based on experience or pure fantasy? She explained, "I have indeed been to Bali -- what I wrote was based directly out of memories stretching as far back as far as 1988. I've always kept journals, but once I went to Bali, I started understanding the purpose of memoirs. I was afraid of losing the magical freshness of my memories through repetition of the events and stories, so I paid close attention to everything, and wrote it all down in a book. I brought the book back to the USA, and when friends asked, 'What was Bali like?' I could simply hand over the manuscript and let them read about it for themselves. In fact, this was a wonderful way for me to share my experience with others, and as a result, several of my friends also went to Bali -- a significant undertaking, from halfway around the world. It was an interesting exercise, telescoping all the feeling and love I have for Bali (and in fact for much of Indonesia) into fewer than 500 words. I went deep inside myself to find the words. It's gratifying to know I succeeded. Much has changed in Bali since 1988, but the essence, which exists in the people and the land, will always remain the same."
We asked, will she be keeping a memoir of her coming trip to Bali? She replied, "I'm very excited about going back, and you can bet there's going to be another 'Bali Book' to share at the end of the journey."
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