First of all, I’m immensely amused at the fact that my last entry was on “discipline,” and it’s taken me days to get my bum in gear to write another post!
Yeesh…the week got busy on me as I try to wrap things up before heading back to the States (FYI, I’m a Chicago gal currently living in London) for a visit with family and friends, a time during which I expect to be out of commission for writing/working overall. In any case, the reason I am OMG-ing relates to a previous post in which I expressed my excitement over getting one of my letters published in a book collection. That, in turn, inspired me to enter a short story contest that so happened to extend its deadline, so I could still give it a go. The general theme to address was “The Wedding.” So, folks, the results are already in, and….*drumroll*…I won first place! Adrenaline surged through my veins, and I thought my heart would leap out of my chest…I’m just gobsmacked and so appreciative of those darling judges who have humored an amateur writer and will be making a dream come true in publishing my work. It’s my very first time being published for my fiction, and I’m going to continue working hard to ensure it won’t be my last. I already feel so grateful for this blog, as these little exercises that I might spend 5-10 minutes on here and there have been enough to get my ideas flowing and discipline me to write creatively on a more consistent basis. This week’s performance, however, not being a stellar example…
In my defense, I’ve had a lot of reading and note-taking to conduct in preparation for a weekend writing conference that I’m departing for tonight. I honestly learned of it by accident because of this blog–because I follow Bonni Goldberg’s writing prompts in her book Room to Write, I had Googled the title to grab a link for one of my earlier posts weeks ago, and in doing so stumbled upon a UK organization of same namethat holds bi-annual conferences at a country estate-turned-hotel up in Northern England. This just looks way too up my alley, so I signed on and am getting giddy to hop on that train out of the city. In any case, this March workshop addresses reading as writers–I think we all know that the more we read, the better we can write by virtue of interacting with examples of good writing or evaluating what we don’t like about what we read. We were assigned to read three novels of rather disparate styles (The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman, and Let it Bleed by Ian Rankin) and take note of three things we learned about writing from each, so I’m looking forward to this sort of book club taken to the next level in analyzing these texts in relation to our own writing projects. Hoping to obtain some very solid advice on how I might approach concluding the last quarter of my work-in-progress…I will most definitely report back here on any pearls of wisdom shared.
In any case, hopefully it will not be another 20+ years before I enter another writing contest–no, seriously! I had just talked about my last one (in grade school, mind you) in my blog post, “The Impact of Words.” Imagine my relief that the outcome this time round was the same 🙂
In closing, I’m going to indulge my relative anonymity here with what I consider to be the first professional review of my written work, taken as an excerpt from the Fact, Fiction, and Folly blog. Why? Because I think I still just can’t believe it and am utterly humbled by the kind words shared, and need to remember them to keep my self-expectations high:
The writing is well done, the story keeps you reading and turning pages (on the screen, ha!). It pulled me right in, with super fast pacing, so there’s never one single moment of ‘boring’ or ‘description’ that isn’t necessary. No word is wasted, no emotion spared. We get to shift POVs in an expert way from several different players in the scene of one wedding – and being ‘inside’ their heads, sort of the way a voice-over on television would be while all the guests are watching the wedding. It felt conspiratorial. It felt like we were eavesdropping on their private moments. It was simply fantastic.
The story title is “Four Somethings and a Sixpence,” and will appear in Accentuate Services’ Elements of Love anthology due for release this November. They have already published two previous anthologies, Elements of the Soul and Elements of Time, and coming out soon are Elements of Dimension and Rendezvous. All right, then, cheers for now—I’ve got a train to catch!
March 12th, 2010 at 23:17
Congrats again on taking first place! It feels pretty good doesn’t it to know you will be in a book? Nice to have you join in. Wait until you hold that baby in your hands. It is an awesome feeling and accomplishment. If you won a spot in the book, it is hardly humouring, you EARNED it. Take credit where it is due.
Spread the word about the current books too so the books can continue to come. The more people buying the books, the better for everyone and for this rather large undertaking. The first two are Elements of the Soul and Elements of Time. The book you will be in later in the year, those two, more in the series, Rendezvous and the upcoming Unsent Letters are available on Amazon.com, Books-a-Million.com, Barnes and Noble.com(and they can be ordered in the B and N stores.), and from the publisher directly.
So you are an expat living in London. Very nice. I grew up living that life, traveling, living different places, and loved it. I haven’t been to London in a long time. Do you think you could hide me in your suitcase when you go back? LOL
March 15th, 2010 at 17:25
Aw, thank you, Laurie! It’s very exciting that all this has put me into contact with talented writers such as yourself–looks like you’ve gathered quite the impressive portfolio yourself (that’s so cool you made it on Nanoism! Have only submitted once, to no avail so far, but I loved yours about the ashes). I will certainly do my part in promoting all of the books (including ordering them all for myself so I can get caught up on all the amazing stories and poems); that’s wonderful that they’re distributed through those various channels. Am heading home for a visit tomorrow and would be most pleased to smuggle you back to London with me next week 🙂 Am eager to hear where you’ve lived and traveled, so looking forward to continued contact with you!
March 14th, 2010 at 23:26
Congrats on the win with Accentuate Anthologies! I too am new at fiction and was chosen for a digital download contract! Thrilling isn’t it? I can’t wait to read all of the great authors. I have Elements of the Soul and Elements of Time and they are terrific!
March 15th, 2010 at 17:28
Thank you, Donna! Yes, it is SO thrilling–congratulations to you as well!!! Isn’t this just such a morale boost? I cannot wait to order up the previously published books and hopefully get to download yours in the coming months. So, so happy to meeting fellow new writers like you and look forward to continued contact!
March 30th, 2010 at 23:09
You little BRAT!!! How DARE you be in town letting me babble away without telling me! Okay, yeah, so I do have 24 hour access to this site and could have easily read this and you probably just wondering when your disorganized sister would get her act together and bop over, but I see you’ve learned that sometimes I need a slam over the head. THANK YOU for finally sharing!
This is so exciting and hardly surprising. You are an amazing writer and it’s just a matter of you putting it out there for the world to see. What wonderful comments in the review. I can’t wait to read the story…and then to get to hold the published book in my hands! You are awesome. Get your special golden…or silver…or whatever pen ready for autographing. 🙂
March 31st, 2010 at 22:43
*hee* You’re the best, sissy. And I never assume that anyone is reading my blog, so no offense taken there 🙂 Thank you for your excitement–I owe so much to you!!
May 30th, 2013 at 09:29
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April 27th, 2014 at 22:40
[…] also just found out this weekend that my contest-winning short story “Four Somethings & a Sixpence” has been accepted for publication after its original […]
February 3rd, 2015 at 13:31
[…] thefallenmonkey Welp, it’s been a loooong time since I first OMGed my fool head off over this story winning a contest. The anthology it was to appear in never reached fruition, […]