I took a big leap of faith today. I decided to enter the first 250 words of my book in the Miss Snark’s First Victim “Secret Agent” contest. Each month, The Authoress offers writers the chance to submit their story (assuming it meets the genre requirements for that month) for review/critique. The first fifty applicants are chosen. Along with fellow writers and entrants, a “Secret Agent” will also be reviewing the submissions. The agent will choose the winner(s) and may request additional pages, or the completed manuscript for review. Some writers have been signed (and book deals made) from these humble beginnings.
My husband offered to take the kids to school so that I could be ready at exactly 8:00 a.m. to hit the “submit” button. I sat at the dining room table, my email ready to go, counting down the minutes until I could pounce. My daughter sat on the other side of the table working on her laptop, my son sat next to her watching her play some-or-other game over her shoulder. My middle child paced nervously on my behalf.
I threatened to throw up. My middle child graciously retrieved the “Puke Bowl” from under the cabinet and handed it to me. (Yes, we do have “designated sick-ware” in our house.)
“Wait until after you send it,” she advised me, with wisdom beyond her scant eight years.
“FIVE MINUTES!” I shouted, causing my children to jump then giggle nervously. The “FOUR MINUTES!” exclamation brought an annoyed chorus of “Mommm!” “THREE MINUTES!” was just ignored. “TWO MINUTES!” warranted a few nervous glances. “ONE MINUTE!” received a sharp intake of breath, and then the countdown commenced: Fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-seven…. Finally I was greeted with “SEND IT! SEND IT!”
So I sent it.
A moment later I got a confirmation email advising me that my entry was selected. The nausea passed. Then it came back. Then it ebbed again.
So, while my plan has not changed, I decided to do as all the footwear commercials advised and “Just Do It!”
In the interest of full disclosure, I just want to mention that the night before I hit the “Submit” button, I dreamed about windows…small windows that I needed to close and larger windows that I ultimately crawled through and was whisked out of a bad situation. Whether this is symbolic in some way, I have no idea.* I just know that I don’t normally dream about windows, and two separate window dreams in one night is definitely unusual for me.
So…I did it.
If nothing else, this whole thing will give me some feedback and the chance to “thicken my skin.” So, if you want to read my submission and offer feedback, I would be pleased and honored to hear your first impressions.
My submission is #3 and can be found at Miss Snark’s First Victim. They should all be posted on May 8th!
As an aside, May 8th was my Great-Grandmother’s birthday. God rest her soul. Maybe this is another sign…or maybe I just need to take a deep breath and keep the puke bowl handy.
* NOTE: According to one of the websites I checked, dreaming of windows means this: To dream that you are entering or exiting through a window suggests that you are involved in some secretive or underhanded activity. Alternatively, the dream means that you are creating your own opportunities. You make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. So, depending who you believe, either I am a thief or an opportunist. When I informed my dear friend of this, she reassured me: “No, it’s the alternate. That makes the most sense for your life right now. You’re making things happen. Definitely. (and I am so, so proud of you!)” So, obviously, no matter what happens with this contest, I am a lucky, lucky writer, because I have amazing friends and followers to cheer me on!