Saturday. Was. Awesome.
I attended the North Texas Two-Step writer's conference, where I learned all kinds of terrific information (more on that this week) and where they announced the results to the Great Expectations contest.
I've been waiting with bated breath for a month to know where I placed. In the initial round I had ended up second with my scores, but once the finalists are sent to the editor for final judging, then your scores are erased and you start fresh, so you can end up anywhere. I kept telling myself that I was just happy to final, that the worse that could happen would be honorable mention (4th place) which would still be a victory. But my perfectionistic/competitive side held out hope for more.
So when Angi Morgan went to the microphone to announce the results, my heart was pounding and I was preparing my I'm-so-happy-no-matter-where-I-placed face. And of course, my category was the last one read, which was tortuous. But then Angi called me up to the podium and started reading out the names in my category. And guess what?
I placed FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Woo-hoo! The editor picked Wanderlust as the best in the Series Contemporary Romance category! She gave me perfect scores on almost every checkpoint AND she requested a partial & synopsis to be sent to the Senior Editor at Harlequin Blaze using her name (the editor of Harlequin Superromance) as a reference. *wide grin* There's nothing like having a publishing professional say "hey, you're actually good at this." So I'm over the moon.
To top it all off, I got a small check for the win, which is officially the first money I've ever made for my writing.
Days like Saturday are ones I need to file away in the memory bank so that when I'm having the I'm a Total Hack Days, I can remember these victories and keep going.
Now, don't miss the rest of this week here at the blog. Beyond the normal Beta Club days, I'll be sharing some of what I learned at the conference, including info from an agent/editor panel.