Thursday, April 2, 2009

My First Post

I almost posted this yesterday but I knew people would think it was an April Fool's Day joke so I held off until today.

Welcome to my blog. I finally finished my website, and realized I wanted a blog to share my writing experiences, news about the writing world and, of course, my opinions. So, here it is.

You're probably wondering why I needed a website in the first place. Here's a time line of the events that led to its inception:

May, 2008 - I submitted my manuscript, 1 Zany Zoo, to the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories contest. I figured I probably wouldn't win but you can't win if you don't enter, so...

September, 2008 - The winner was supposed to be notified this month - I never heard from them so I knew it wasn't me. Time to polish up the manuscript and submit it to publishers.

October, 2008 - I sent the manuscript for critique by a speaker at the Prairie Writer's Day Conference (the annual SCBWI - Illinois conference).

November 15, 2008 - When I arrived at the conference, I excitedly read the critique of my story and quickly took an emotional nosedive! The editor had written a couple of positive things and then proceeded to point out problems throughout the entire manuscript. I had thought it was in really good shape when I submitted it and couldn't believe how off my judgment was. But, used to rejection (I've had plenty of practice), I took it in stride and vowed to consider the editor's suggestions and rework the story.

November 26, 2008 - It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was getting ready for dinner at my house when I got a Fed-ex package with a letter stating that I was one of the three winners of the Cheerios contest! I read it ten times to find the "catch" then finally accepted that I actually was in the top three. I naturally assumed I'd won second or third place, which I thought was pretty good! I figured that, even though it wasn't the grand prize winner, it would be something I could mention in future cover letters.

I happily continued my Thanksgiving preparations when I got a phone call from a General Mills representative who said I was the grand prize winner! I screamed so loudly, my husband and kids rushed upstairs to make sure I was okay. I couldn't believe it!! I can't remember anything the representative said, except that I had to keep it a secret until it would be announced in January. Of course, I immediately called my mom, sisters and brother. My kids told all their friends but none of us mentioned Cheerios or Simon & Schuster. It was going to be a long couple of months!

More tomorrow...

(That wasn't as hard as I thought it'd be!)