Ah, the magic of waiting, of biting your fingernails, of right at the edge of stepping into a dream!
Writing means rejection. Believe me, I’ve seen plenty of those. They hurt. They cause sobbing, self-doubt, and overall panic.
But, there is another side of writing. Acceptance. It’s a little harder to find, but will cause ear-splitting screaming.
Last November, I entered a short story contest ProjectREUTSway put on by Reuts Publications because it sounded like fun. Take a fairy tale twist it, crumple it up, add some strange paranormal element and BAM! awesomeness. I needed a break from all my revisions. I wanted to write, new stuff, weird, scary, creepy stuff. So for four weeks, I read the assignment on Sunday, wrote something, and send it in by Thursday. Then I waited for Saturday when Reuts would post top looks, excerpts from their favorites from that week. I waited with my heart in my throat.
I was doing it for fun! Except I wasn’t. The prize called me. Those top look spots haunted me. At the end of the contest, winners would be chosen … those stories would get a spot in an anthology. I wanted to be published. I WANTED IT SO BAD.
Well, week three an excerpt from my story appeared on top looks. I screamed. I cried. I celebrated with my Twitter friends.
When the contest was over, I waited for what seemed like forever for the list of winners. A list of authors whose stories had been chosen as winners to be in the anthology or runners up to be posted on Reuts’ blog.
I WAS ON THE LIST! I screamed. I cried. My entire body shook with excitement.
But it wasn’t enough to be on the list. I needed to know how many of my stories had been chosen and for what … the anthology, the blog. AH! I waited another month for the list of stories to appear.
I wanted … I NEEDED at least one of my stories to be in the book. (pretty much like EVERYONE else)
The morning of the announcement, I thought I was going to puke … or have a heart attack. I hadn’t slept well the night before, I couldn’t focus. It wasn’t just me, right … all my Reutser friends? When the post went up, I stared at it, afraid to look. Not looking meant not knowing and that allowed hope to live. If my stories weren’t chosen to be in the anthology, that was okay. Right?
So I looked. I held my breath. I pushed aside my nerves.
Two of my stories were chosen as winners. One was chosen as a runner-up … which was just posted on the PRW Runner-up tour last week http://blog.reuts.com/prw-runner-tour-liar-liar-kathleen-palm/. EEEEEKK!If you heard screaming on the final day of January. It was me.
Even more exciting, last week I received e-mails giving me the name of the editors I will be working with to make my stories awesome. So I keep running over to my Google Drive to look at my words waiting for comments. Nothing yet. I am so flippin’ excited! I can’t even … *flails*
Anyway, what about that fourth story I wrote? I revised it with the help of my fabulous CP Elsie Elmore (http://elsieelmore.com/ and @ElsieWriter on Twitter) and sent it to a magazine. Fingers crossed, kids. I should hear from them next month … maybe. Hopefully.
So I wait. Someone should have warned me about all this insanity-causing waiting before I joined the club. Seriously. *headdesk*
But we submit. We wait. Because we write. Sharing the words is important. *high five*
Even though this post is all about me … that’s all I got, people … so many of us have these stories. The tales of triumph, tales of heartbreak, tales of thinking your head will explode with all the wondering and panicking. The life of a writer. Who would do this to themselves?
Anyone want to play a game? I have Dr. Who Monopoly and HP Clue.