Okay, I have got to get my jitters down on a page so that I can actually get something done with the rest of my day. Drumroll please...
I just placed in the top 50 for this quarter of the Writers of the Future speculative fiction contest! This thing is, like, THE BIGGEST international contest for speculative fiction, so I imagine there are a LOT of entries per quarter.
This means I'm a Silver Honorable Mention. My mom's response: "Top 50? You deserve top 3!" Thanks for the confidence, Mom! I'm just really happy because there are those days when I'm wondering if my writing is actually good and worth pursuing as doggedly as I have been, or if it is just a glorified hobby. When other people affirm that, yes, I actually have talent and they want to see more, I'm like, "WOOOOOHOOOOO!"
Oh, and fun factoid about my story:
The title is Wings Beneath Water. Waaaaaay back in November 2014, I wrote on my Facebook author page that I was looking for titles for a short fantasy story. A number of people responded, and one of my friends, LSC, suggested the title Wings Beneath Water. Well, that title stuck with me. I couldn't get it out of my head. But I didn't have a story to go with it.
I chewed on the idea for a few months. Yes, months. I knew there was a story there, just lurking underneath the surface of my imagination. And I was going to fish it out, one way or another.
I told Martian Kitty of the trouble I was having, and we spent the better part of our walk around the neighborhood pinging ideas off each other. I didn't have a story at the end of that walk, but I felt that I had gotten closer somehow.
Then one day, out of frustration, I sat down at my laptop and typed,
"They say when you see wings beneath the water, you get a second chance to live."
I had literally NO IDEA where I was going with that. But for some reason, those were the magic words to open up the gates of invention, and suddenly a scene location came into focus, and characters entered, and things began happening. I just had to keep up and write it all down.
Halfway through the writing process, my thoughts got all tangled up (as they often do) so I hopped on the treadmill, ran for about 45 minutes, came back to my computer, and wrote the rest.
The original draft was just over 4000 words long, but when I decided to enter it into the Writers of the Future contest, I expanded it to 10,000 words. (The contest accepts submissions up to 17,500 words.) I entered it in the second quarter of the contest on March 30, 2015, and heard nothing until today.
Wow. Life is weird.
Okay, now that I've written this down and shared, maybe I can focus enough to work on my next WIP (work in progress). It's barely 8:30 a.m. and I still have a whole day ahead of me!
Have you ever entered a story contest? What contest was it? What was the result? How did that influence your writing?
Update 03/01/17 - The new expanded version of WINGS BENEATH WATER will be released on March 31, 2017.