Tuesday, June 1, 2010
What exciting news! April 29, 2010: I entered my novel in the Inspirational Romance genre of the Royal Palm Literary Award Contest, hosted by the Florida Writers Association. It was a last minute effort that almost didn't happen. Every time I've attempted to enter this contest, something--an important event, unexpected company, or toppled by a common cold--always got in my way. This time, I knew I had a trip to Alabama planned in early May, followed by my husband's birthday celebration, and we received happy news that his daughter and her family were relocating to Tampa. I read the contest entry details and discovered that by entering before May 1st, I could actually save money. So, with a quick prayer, I downloaded the pages I needed, printed them out, and shipped my entry via USPS. Over Memorial Day weekend, I needed to check my e-mail for research on another writing assignment. I bumped my husband off his laptop, promising to be brief. There it was...the e-mail from RPLA saying, "Congratulations! Your novel Obedient Heart has made it into the finals..." Now, I have to compile all my chapters into one document of 97,742 words, and ship the entire manuscript to be judged in its entirety. This is heart-pounding excitement for me. When I first wrote this novel, I knew nothing about writing. I attended the Florida Christian Writers Conference, where I studied under Gayle Roper (whom the RPLA cited as an example for Inspirational Romance). A few years passed and I continued to gain more knowledge and grow in the art of writing. I rewrote, and rewrote and rewrote this novel, using the tips I've learned from Gayle, Mark Mynheir, Jeanette Windle, Cecil Murphy, and all the wonderful writers in FWA and Word Weavers. So, please keep me in your prayers as I prepare to send the completed manuscript to RPLA. And thank you, Jan Powell, for all your encouragement, as you repeatedly said to me, "This could be the year..."