Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to earth with a THUD

In the past week I've had a rather severe writing reality check. My multi-page rejection and then the win in the First Kiss (which I'd thrown together a few days prior to the closing date) had me in a rather arrogant state of mind. Surely finalling in contests and subsequent requests was now merely a formality?

Well, as it turns out - no it's isn't :) Is started off well - I've finalled in all the contests I've entered this year until the Clendon. And then I didn't final in the Clendon.

Or get Highly Commended.
Or even Commended.
(BTW approx 25 people either finalled, were highly commended or commended)

I haven't come any less than 8th in a competition since 2007, so to not even be in the top 50% was a serious blow to my ego. It hurt. I also seriously regretted my Clendon posts - I mean, now blogland knows I failed! I suck, and my book sucks.

Fortunately, I got over that sookiness pretty quickly (thank you to my writing friends who dealt with my sookfest).

Then I found out my placing in a contest (that hasn't been formally announced yet). I didn't place - but that wasn't the problem. I didn't get a request :( So, this new book that has finalled in everything it's entered (okay, 3 contests, but "everything" sounds more impressive!) isn't worthy of even a request for a partial. Ouch.

But - I have a new plan:
  1. FINALLY finish partial and submit (I do have a request for it from the FK comp -I'll need to do a considerable re-write)
  2. Start something new and enter Romance Is Not Dead
Romance Is Not Dead terrifies me. I am a softie at the best of times, and potential public humiliation does not appeal. But - it will push me to write something new, and gives me a reward for finishing that damn partial.

With my new Humble Leah hat on, I don't expect to even final - I have no doubt that the competition will be huge and of a very high quality.

But still - worth a shot, right?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No final :(

I found out tonight that the finalists of the Clendon have been contacted, and as I haven't been contacted, I mustn't be a finalist :(

Oh well. I will need to re-write Book 1, one day, so it will get its chance to shine.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


No, I'm not waiting on a sub, but the announcements of finalists for the RWNZ Clendon Award. I wasn't going to even mention I'd entered, let alone that I've been desperately checking my email for the past week, just in case I jinxed things. But really, that's just dumb :) And the next best thing to knowing the finalists of the Clendon, is to talk about the Clendon :)

This year is the first time I entered, and in typical me style, entering it became a comedy of errors. I got the dates wrong, and so I had to post the manuscript on a Friday to ensure it arrived in time in New Zealand. So I woke up bright and early on Friday morning, and headed off to an Officeworks near my work that would be able to print two copies of my MS. I'd still get to work on time, easily.

I'm driving along, and notice a strange burning smell. But it comes and go, so I ignore it. I also notice that I seem to be gripping the steering wheel rather hard, as the car veers to the left, otherwise.

I ignore this, too.

Finally, when turning a tight corner, understanding dawns. I pull over to a very convenient church car park, and confirm the news - I have a (very) flat tyre. I am mechanically useless, so call my boyfriend (out on a bike ride and away from his phone), and then my dad. Dad is on his way to work and not far away, so comes and promptly saves me. Temporary spare in place, I go to Officeworks (complete with grease smear on my face that I notice after I get back into my car with printed manuscripts), and eventually get to work very late.

I need to get my tyre replaced as the temporary spare is not suitable for my drive home, so my lunch break is spent very impatiently waiting for a $350 tyre to be fitted (that was a horrifying discovery - who knew "sports" tyres cost so much?) and then zipping off to the post office to post my entry. Except the post office isn't where it used to be.

So I drive to another post office (fortunately this one is still in existence) and my entry is finally - finally! - on its way.

And here we are four months later. Desperately checking my email.

The reason I so hope that I final in this competition, is because it's my rejected book. I entered prior to my R, and I would love for it to have a last hurrah. Because it was rejected, I know it's probably silly to hope it finals - obviously the reasons it was rejected are very real.

But still, it's nice to hope that my first book - which will always be special to me - may get its chance to shine.