Even after all these weeks, I can hardly believe it--I'm a finalist in the Christian Writers Guild "Operation First Novel" contest! This Wednesday, I'll be on my way to the Writing for the Soul conference at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, whereupon the other three finalists and I will find out which one of us has won the delightful double prize of publication by Tyndale and a check for $20,000.
I'm so blessed and thrilled to be a finalist. Two of my three esteemed (and equally excited, I'm sure) co-finalists are also Craftsman graduates. One was in the first Craftsman class with me and I'm so happy for him. I find myself in the strange predicament of rooting for Jon, as I know what a talented writer, wonderful husband and father, and all-around great Christian man he is. He and I agree that no matter how much we would love to have our respective books published, it is God's Will we desire, not our own. It's in His hands now and that's been a comfort to me ever since I learned I was one of the lucky four. Knowing that I could no longer edit, rewrite, or otherwise fiddle with my manuscript freed me up to spend every waking minute being nervous. (Isn't life good? :-)
Darice will be meeting me there and I'll be so tickled to be with her again and have her with me during what will undoubtedly be the most exciting night of my professional life--regardless the outcome of the contest. My time in Michigan, Florida, and now Kentucky has been wonderful, but I do miss her and Ron and the pets. I'll be returning to Alaska in early April if all goes as planned, but in the meantime, touching base and spending time with her will be great.
In the meantime (between being nervous during my waking hours and dreaming about it every night), I'm working hard to have an excellent book proposal for not only the manuscript I entered, but also for the sequel that I'm working on now. I will have three great opportunities to pitch my work to agents and editors and I want to make the most of my time at the conference.
I know God is with me no matter what happens and for that I'm humbled and blessed. Thank You, Lord, for holding my hand. I'll be squeezing Yours tight next Thursday night.
Until the next time...