When I got “The Email”

Various lessons of questionable value you can take away from my limping, snowblind journey toward publication

the_call

The deadline for my RWA chapter contest was looming. Lesson 1: Embrace artificially imposed deadlines. They can stand in until you can proudly proclaim that you are “contractually obligated” to freak out under deadline pressure. So I put the polish to a partial on a paranormal I’d been working on for a couple months and sent it in because the final round judge was from NAL, a publisher that didn’t accept unagented submissions.

Lesson 2: Don’t be a contest slut; be a contest courtesan. A slut gets drunk on cheap words and enters any ol’ contest just ‘cuz. A contest courtesan wisely chooses her contests to further her education, enhance her allure, gain access to otherwise elite circles, and hopefully, eventually, land the perfect sugar daddy.

That was the summer of 2007. Finalists wouldn’t be announced until October, but I figured I better finish the book. You know, just in case. Lesson 3: Waiting is a bitch, and there’s a lot of waiting to be done in this business. Use the time. Finish stuff. Start new stuff. Whatever. As painful as waiting is, make every minute of it count. Sad fact: In case anybody told you different, staying busy does NOT make the time go quicker.

I finally got “An Email” from the contest coordinator telling me I finaled. I received my scores, and it turned out one of the three judges HATED my story. Hated as in gave me 3’s and 4’s out of 10.

The lessons — and a chance to win Allison Chase’s DARK OBSESSION gift basket — continue at:
http://www.silkandshadows.com/2009/01/05/when-i-got-the-email/

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