A super sincere THANK YOU to Terry M. West and Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc. for including my work and CONGRATS to everyone involved in this awesome book. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed for that final ballot.
Just when I thought I had mastered (or at least gotten better with) letting go of attachments...BOOM. Another rejection.
The crazy part, I'd already accepted that I'd lost the contest since there was no word by the January 15th announcement date. But since no winners were named and an email popped up in my inbox a week later, my heart paused. Maybe...just maybe...
"Thanks for your entry. Try again next year."
It hurt. As rejection always does.
I love my story and want others to love it too.
Then the brain went into fear overdrive. Try again next year? Why? Because I'm a good writer? Or is that the canned response? Is this a sign that my story sucks? That my passion for writing doesn't match my skill? Will I need to pack up shop and go get a 9-to-5?
Thank Goddess I had a writing date later that day. Otherwise I would have curled in a ball and moped. Instead, I voiced my disappointment and my friend congratulated me for entering into the contest in the first place. I'm not just dreaming about writing, but pursuing it with full on devotion.
Yes, I wanted to win. Who doesn't love outside validation? To have your work appreciated, praised and loved? I don't want to ignore and push away the pain from failure, only to have it linger, grow and pop up to take me down later.
Instead, I'll have my 5 minute tantrum -- kick, punch, stomp, cry, curse -- whatever to let the hurt move through and out of me. Then I'll reframe the situation. Writing brings me joy. And I will never stop. I will continue to put my work out there and if my audience finds me and experiences joy from reading my stories, then WOO-HOO! (cue happy dance)
But I can't be attached to this outcome. I can't control how others perceive my words. If that's how I approached the empty page, then fear of failure would rule. So, I let it go, and write for the sheer pleasure and do whatever I can to spread that joy into the world.
This awesome anthology by Dreaming Robot Press includes 24 science fiction short stories for middle grade readers with a focus on diversity. 80% with central female characters. Black, white, Asian, Latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs.
So what are your wishes, resolutions, goals (whatever you label it) for the months ahead?
My theme for 2014 was a focus on joy. I swore I wouldn't use an alarm clock and I kept that promise (except for those occasional mornings where I had insane AM commitments). Travels to Laguna Beach, a retreat at Silver Falls and a quickie east coast jaunt to visit family and my best friend (and her gorgeous newborn twins). Found my spiritual family. There were many warm hugs (and kisses!). And published three short stories. Woo-hoo!
2015 is the year of magic. Writing, writing and more writing (and having fun while doing it). Signing with an agent. Multiple book contracts. More travels. Having faith despite the facts. Letting go of what I can't control. Waking up everyday full of joy and gratitude. And as always, lots of love, hugs and kisses.