I guess you could say, I'm writing my luck pony into the ground again. Because, why not?
There's something heady about winning (winning!) a writing contest. I gave myself this huge pep talk (that didn't work) on Friday evening about what a bad ass I am (it gave me a stomachache). I'm an award-winning author. I have contracts and a series. I'm awesome! But inside that cocoon of awesome is a frightened little writer. I wish I had half the confidence I had when I was 16 and I knew I one day I was going to be the Big Thing. Well, maybe I'm not the Big Thing, but I've had a darn good writing year.
Monday, mounted high on the back of the often elusive and semi-transparent, yet sparkly luck pony (fortuna minusculus) who I call Spike, I looked into the horizon and said, "You know what, Spike?" He whinnied in confusion, because this isn't real, and I continued as though uninterrupted. "I think I'm freakin' going to enter So You Think You Can Write."
I opened the website and looked at it for a while. I thought, I'll just fill in the blanks. That doesn't mean I'm actually entering. It's really easy to hit the X on the browser, after all. Then I cut the first 5000 words from the MS and copied them into the text box. Which still didn't mean anything, you know. Until I opened the short blurb and pasted it into a word counter and adjusted it so it was 100 words. Things got serious then, because there's a preview button. I hit it, just to see what it would look like. Then I wavered back and forth between actually pushing the Submit button. For probably twenty minutes. My mouse would inch that way, then I'd pull it back. It would creep toward the red button and I'd look in a different browser window.
I thought, this is crazy. Crazy like drinking from a pop can you left on the sidewalk while you went into a restaurant that doesn't allow outside drinks.
Let me be honest here. I don't make plans. The best laid plans of rodents and homo sapiens will fall through faster than you can blink if you're not uber-careful. So I'm milling around with this historical romance/gothic thing that's taken up a ton of my time lately and I'm all, I don't know what to do with this. Self publish it? Throw it at my editor? Hide it? And what do you know, here's SYTYCW. And then the mayor of Crazytown comes calling with his tempting little offer. It goes like this:
You have nothing to lose.
The call of the writer. Crazytown's mayor has visited me before. I've heard that noise and...I often respond to it. Mayor McCrazy is right. I have nothing to lose. So I hit that Submit button. There. It's done. So please, remember me in your writer's prayers. The top 50 manuscripts are selected in mid-October. I might be there, and I might not be. It's anyone's guess. But I never won or finaled in a contest I didn't enter and I never got a contract on a book I didn't submit.
You can read the first chapter of Wildwood Spring here.