Just found out a few days ago that a story of mine, Midnight Cappuccino, won second place in the Twilight Tales' Jingle Hell story contest. I can't really say if it's a sad or hopeful story (supposing the two are mutually exclusive). In some ways, it's about the emotional pain we go through when we decide not to give up.
It's special to me because the setting is inspired by a hospice which I visited over several months, spending time with a woman who didn't deserve the hard life she'd led. On a more pleasant note, it is also the first story that my girlfriend, Julie, ever heard me read at Twilight Tales. If you're curious, you can read it on their web-site through this link:
It's a great way for me to start the New Year and, if you were there the night of the contest, you'll know that it is an honor, given the great assortment of stories that were presented. Twilight Tales really is a fantastic group and they've been meeting every Monday night for live readings for over fifteen years. Check it out some time and hopefully I'll see you there.