Writing is a very solitary business.
We are alone with the voices in our head making up impossible situations to try to connect with a reader.
That connection is the 'gold' this writer seeks.
Oh, we might show our family and friends our stories, but that doesn't fill the void of having other writers confirm that we are on the right writing track.
For years, I've judged various romance contests, and when I find the submission that has that reader connection, I'm on top of the world. And I hope the other judges with this same entry feel the same way that I do.
But it doesn't always happen.
Most of the time, those stories have other issues that need to be fixed, which drops their score leaving them out of the finalists arena.
Every now and then, a writer has both the ability to use the English language AND the talent to write a story that reels the reader in.
Recently, I judged a story like that. RWA's Mystery & Suspense chapter, which is a HUGE online chapter, holds a contest called the Daphne, yes, named after Daphne du Maurier. The story I judged was a historical novel, but not a time period that I usually read. It was truly a wonderful story that I would love to read when it is published.
When I signed up to judge this contest, I had a vague thought about entering one of my elemental stories.
And in an almost final minutes of the contest being open, I decided to throw two of my elemental WIP's (Works in Progress) into the fray. The competition would be fierce and the entries in my category (paranormal) were capped at at 50.
Other than being one of the most prestigious contests, other than RWA's Golden Heart, this contest is big. One of the incentives in entering this contest, and category, was the final judge--editor Brenda Chin.
Now, I've entered contests over the years with different projects, and with one exception about ten years ago, I can never find three first round judges who feel the same way about my stories to score them high enough to final. This time I had to find FOUR first round judges.
The odds were against me.
Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call on Friday informing me that my contest entry, AIR BENEATH A DRAGON'S WINGS finaled in the Daphne.
No, there was no screaming and hollering. Just a 'Yay"! from me.
I'm sure the contest coordinator wondered why I wasn't more excited . . . I left that for my wonderful friend and CP who has been there for me for many years--Meg Reid.
Yes, she did scream and holler!
And I doubt if I would have had a coherent synopsis without the eleventh hour input from my friend, Cynthia D'Alba.
Thank you both!
And now to buckle down and finish writing this story.
Though I have a few months, since the winners won't be announced until RWA's National Conference at the end of July, I want to finish this story.
I'm still very excited that this story--the first in a series of four--has gotten the recognition it deserves.