Saturday, May 22, 2010

A First

On May 3rd a fifty year storm washed away our conference at Opryland Hotel in Nashville. A first. Since this is my first blog I started pondering other firsts in my life. My first high heels…first love…first heartbreak. I know what you might be thinking, but I won’t go there…

All of us remember our personal milestones, those moments we sit back and grin in satisfaction.

My critique group cheered when I finished my first manuscript. Initially, like searching for a new love, I sought an agent who would appreciate me and my work. Test the waters. Well, it’s choppy and windy and rough in that sea, so I tried entering a contest.

The final judge, a New York editor, requested my full manuscript. I shouted YES! You all know the winning gesture––arm pumping with your fisted hand declaring victory. Well, I don’t have much of a bicep but that baby got a workout for several days. I gained another first, RWA PRO status. I’ll proudly wear the pin at this year’s conference in Orlando.

But, alas, like a first heartbreak I later received my first rejection. After the initial disappointment (and lots of chocolate) I worked at shaking off the negative aspects and viewed it as another step up the well-worn stairs to publication.

Writing is such a lonely business. Too often we struggle, moving forward without fanfare or praise. So, I’d like you to pause a moment and then share your own personal writing first. Did you recently wrestle a defiant character to the ground, forcing him to reveal the perfect dark secret? Or have you stretched yourself to attempt a new direction in your writing? Did you stare at those two powerful words “The End” and weep tears of happiness knowing your determination paid off? Perhaps, that impossible scene (you know the one) suddenly shifted, as if in a dream, and your fingers couldn’t fly fast enough over the keys. Whatever the thrill, please share it here and let me be your fan for today.

I salute your hard work and perseverance.


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

My first ever to win something happened just a few months ago. I won a first place in a contest. WOW I felt like I could walk on water that day and was so proud of myself. A few weeks later another contest brought me a perfect score. WOW that was two firsts. I hope it is only the beginning, but realize all my scores will not be winners. That is to be expected, but just those two have given me more insight on being a success and keep me sitting in front of my computer writing.

Sheila Tenold said...


Double Congratulations!

Your contest first place is so special. I love your "walking on water" anology. How true...and then to get a perfect score next. Validation is sweet music, isn't it?
I'm excited for you and see great things ahead. It's that kind of success which keep your fingers flying on the keyboard and your creative juices flowing.

Jill James said...

I placed in the first contest I ever entered with my writing. It was such a high to see my name in the RWR. I think I floated for days. That magazine is so worn out from me looking at it for days.

Sheila Tenold said...


That is so cool. I'd be up in the air, too. I know you're destined to see your name in print many times in the future. The sky's the limit!

Marilu Mann said...

I think firsts can bring such heartbreak because we attach such raw hope to the potential of it. Soldier on, Sheila!

Joanne said...

The End are bittersweet words for me. By the time a long, lonely year has gone by, and I am in love with my characters, I have to leave them...sigh.
Congrats on your contest win!