contest, finalist

BIG News Changes Things

Call me wishy washy. Flighty. Daft. Whatever… but I’ve decided to finish editing my first book. I know what you are thinking. She needs to decide and stick with a plan. She should move on! First books never sell, so why waste your time? Well, I agree with all those things! But yesterday I received news that changed everything.

I finaled in the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter’s Touched By Love Contest!

Now, you might be thinking, so why edit now? Well, the big grand prize for the overall winner is a edit by an editor. I don’t expect to be the overall winner…at all! Seriously, it’s not that I am a pessimist, but I am realistic.  On the other hand, I received some great scores by all three judges and I feel like I should at least be prepared. There’s that “What if…” factor.

AND, the best thing is…I will finally be done with it and be able to say I DID IT!

So bear with me while I go back to the drawing board with this book. I may whine a bit in the next couple of weeks, but I will try to keep my Cranky Pants tucked away in the closet.

contest, formatting

Formatting Issues

I had another first. I got rejected. No, not a rejection from an agent or publishing house. I got rejected from a contest I entered because of formatting! I entered my second writing contest  and woke up the next morning to an email saying the format was all wrong. The person who emailed me was so nice and wrote a two paragraph explanation on how to fix the formating. They even told me they would fix it for me if I wanted! How nice is that?

What I found amazing was I had never even heard of some of the things in the explanation. Widows and Orphans. What in the world?

“The widow/orphan control in Word is a feature that will prevent single lines of paragraphs from appearing on a separate page from the rest of the prargraph (a widow is the first line of a paragraph left by itself and an orphan is the last line left by itself). The widow/orphan control will automatically keep two lines together on a page, shifting them as necessary when you add or take text awar from the document.” (eHow)

Evidently, in order to have exactly 25 lines per page, you have to turn off the Widows/Orphans control. Sigh….I had to do a little bit of research, but I figured out how to fix it. You go to “Home”, then “Paragraph”, then “Line Breaks”, then uncheck the Widows/Orphans box. Yes, you still have to set the lines as EXACTLY with 25 pt. The funny thing is, I didn’t have the box checked to begin with. Hhhmmm.

Very confusing. And just a tad bit embarrassing! But since there is an extension on the deadline, I am blogging tonight instead of correcting my mistake. I’m also wondering if the first contest I entered last month will find the same problems. Live and learn, I say.

Anyone else have any newbie mistakes that they have made along the way? Anyone? Are you sure you don’t wanna make me feel better?

challenge, contest

Confession Time

I confess. I am no longer a Contest Virgin. I have taken the plunge, hit the send button, along with my payment, and voila…I have jumped a hurdle. Hit another milestone. Another step on my journey.
I have no grand illusions of becoming a finalist. No, I hit that SEND button for one thing and one thing only. To get some feedback and to toughen up my skin. I’ve had people look at my first few chapters and sure, there has been alot of red, but I think there is something about a contest that really brings it all home. Everyone is sending their best work, their critiqued work, the work they’ve reworked time and time again. That’s what you are really up against and that’s what I want to be measured against.

Sure, I may fall waaayyy short, but at least I will know. At least I will know what to work on…where my failings are. Hopefully, I will find that I am good at a few things, and that will be nice, but I want to know how to be a better writer.

I have plans to enter one more contest, but that’s all for now. Have you entered any? How many contests have you entered? How many a year? Do you enter every year?  Have you found it helpful?

Good luck to everyone who has entered a contest recently or has plans to! May God let your work shine!

challenge, contest, editing, race

The Big Edit Race

I’m now officially in a race. Yes! I know what you are thinking…at least those of you who have heard me complain about all forms of physical exertion. No, it is not what you are thinking.

I’m in a race with Krista…or should that be against Krista?

I read a tweet last last night from Krista, who was at McDonald’s beginning the edits on her newly finished WIP. Editing at McD’s? Seriously? Who among you could manage such a feat? (And Jody, you can’t answer because you have mastered the art of writing amid chaos!)

Amazed at such dedication and focus, I threw out a challenge to Krista. (Not that I think I can win, because anyone who can write with squeals and crying in their ears has a huge advantage over me.)
Here’s the challenge: Race each other to see who can get their WIP edited by the start of the New Year. That’s not too hard right? Well…it might be a bit difficult since it IS December! In order to accomplish this feat, it means a chapter a day, which is going to be extremely difficult. (Krista, quit with the smirking!)

So why the need for a race? Well, I happen to need the motivation. I need a challenge. I need accountability!

Yep. I find that I am a VERY competitive person. Put me up against someone else and I’m all over it! I rise to the challenge and I want to WIN!

So Krista…bring it on, girl!
Should there be a prize of some kind? Other than the reward of getting the WIP whipped into shape? What do you think?