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Ever since I was a small child, I have been writing stories. Some of these stories are terrible. Some of these stories are incomplete. Some of these stories are still a work in progress.
In November of 2010, I completed a 55,000 word story that is near and dear to my heart. I fell in love with the characters. I became friends with them. I laughed when they laughed and I cried (oh how I cried) when they cried.
For 30 straight days the words of that book flowed out of me. i dreamt about it. I eagerly jumped out of bed at unreasonable times just to write something down.
When the book ended, I felt a little sad. Would I ever know how life turned out for them? Would I ever know if they had regrets? For non-writers, I am sure this sounds like poppycock nonsence but while I was pleased with the ending, I longed to know more.
I walked away from that book for a solid two months and then I actually let someone read it, my dear friend B. It is so hard to let anyone read your words. It is like handing over your heart and asking them to be gentle. I longed for affirmation, but I also sought honesty.
After receiving significantly positive feedback, I offered the manuscript to others to read. A former English teacher turned principal took up the challenge of editing a few things for me and when she came upon a contest she encouraged me to enter.
A national contest.
I let myself dream about what it would be like to win that. To get recognized as the children's book of the year! To finally hold a published copy of my book.
Last week NAESP announced the top 25 finalists and my name WAS ON THERE.
I let myself imagine just a little bit more what it might be like to be invited to a National conference as a guest of honor so-to-speak. What it would be like to not wear a hairnet and wait on others but to actually have people in line waiting for a signed copy of my book. I visualized it. I saw it.
Doing all of this makes it happen, right?
When I found out that next's years conference is just a hope skip and a jump away in Baltimore, I felt even more certain that I would win.
I. WOULD. BE. SIGNING. MY. NOVELS. LESS. THAN. AN. HOUR. FROM. HOME.
It was sure to happen.
And then it didn't.
The top five finalists were released today and sadly, my name did not make the cut.
And while I know it is just a detour, and while I continue to be proud of my strong finish, I can't help but feel a little heartbroken, as I was certain it was my turn.
- I'm a 40 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.