Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friends, ABNA, and Dreams


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

- Mark Twain

~ Mark I find myself using the terms, “blogging friends” and “writer friends” and “Facebook friends” to qualify my friendships. There are also “teacher friends” and “childhood friends” and “Cambridge friends” and “New York friends” and “friends through my husband”.

Do you categorize friendships too?

There’s nothing that really diminishes these friendships by qualifying them. I’m being more specific. Some of these categories overlap. And sometimes, I meet someone through blogging, Facebook, or a conference and find over time that the friendship deepens. We e-mail and maybe even call one another. We check in to see how the other is doing. There’s something special about my friends who are also writers because only writers understand writing woes. And the writer friends whom I also share non-writing issues are even more important to me.

Conferences, Blogging, and Facebook have enriched my life. Without these opportunities to meet other writers, I’d be lonelier and have had fewer opportunities to hone my craft.

I want to say thank you to all my writer friends.



In addition, I want to congratulate my writer friends who have made it to the 2nd round of ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) Contest with me last week. The 10k submissions were whittled down to 2k. (As you can see below, I’m in good company.)

Samantha Verant (Especially because she helped me with my pitch. Thank you!)

Judy Mintz (She also helped me with my pitch. Thank you!)

Jessica Bell

PK Hrezo

Hart Johnson

Roland Yeomans

Tamara Hart Heiner

Charity Bradford

If I forgot you, please let me know in the comments of via e-mail and I’ll add you (and apologize profusely)!

The complete YA and General Fiction list is HERE!


I didn’t make it to the 3rd round for The Mist Chasers last year, but the critique I received by making it to the second round helped me recognize problems with my excerpt. Even if I don’t make to the 3rd round with Naked Eye, I’ll appreciate the feedback. The list of 2k will be slashed to 500 quarter-finalists.


I wish all the writer friends who made it to Round 2 good luck in Round 3!

Dream with me.

Love, Theresa xo


131 comments:

  1. Congratulations to ALL of you! That's so amazing!

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    1. Julie, thank you! I hope a few of us make it to the next round.

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  2. Congratulations! It's so fantastic to see my friends making it to the second round! I'll be cheering all of you on.

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  3. That's pretty impressive, Theresa, I'm dreaming for you! Good luck to the other writers too.
    Yes, I agree, in my daily life I meet few, actually zero writers, so the internet despite its negative press, has introduced me to people with a lot in common and it has been lovely to meet some of them in the real world including yourself:)

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    1. Brigid, I agree with you. Finding people who love to write and then to have much more in common with is rare, so we need the world wide web to connect. It was great meeting you and Ann after knowing one another online.

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  4. Brilliant brilliant news!!! Good luck Theresa!! I have all my bendy bits crossed for you!!

    Yay for friends! take care
    x

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    1. Old Kitty, thank you. I appreciate all the crossing!

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  5. Woo, congrats, Theresa!! Making it into the top 20% is fabulous! And it's exciting to see bloggy friends on the list too. Michael Di Gesu also made it in! Congrats to everyone. :D

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    1. Carol, thanks for telling me. I'll have to congratulate him on his blog or Facebook.

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  6. Congratulations to everyone who made it! How exciting!

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    1. Cherie, thanks! I'm going to try to ignore that 03/20 date. Easier said than done!

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    1. Karen, thank you. Good luck achieving your dreams!

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  8. First of all congrats on making it to the second round. That's fabulous. And you are in good company. :))

    Second, I couldn't agree more about the friendships I've made with other writers through my blog and via conferences. I think we attract like-minded people through our blogs, and I know in my case it's made for some great friendships -- even though I've never met any of them face-to-face.

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    1. LG Smith, thank you. I hope you get to meet a few of them face-to-face. I met Brigid and Ann in Ireland last year. I was worried it we wouldn't have anything to talk about, but time ran out and we were still chatting away.

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  9. Congrats to all of those who make this cut. That's a big accomplishment.

    I agree that only blogger friends understand our writer woes. And are really interested in them.

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    1. Natalie, so true. When I receive a rejection or have a down day, I know where to turn.

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  10. Well done on making it si far Theressa. You're right about the forums creating friendships. My life is better for them too.

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    1. Wendy, thanks. I'm glad to hear the forums have been good for you too.

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  11. Congrats for round 2 and good luck for round 3!!! It's a truly great achievement.

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  12. Congratulations, guys! Best of luck for the next round!

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    1. JC Martin, thanks! We'll need it. It's a big cut!

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  13. Hey Guys and Gals,

    Well done all round! Cheers m'dears.

    best
    F

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    1. Francine, I like that: "Cheers m'dears." Same to you!

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  14. I know people on that list!!! That makes me so excited. So--to be clear--you made the list, too. Right?

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  15. So happy for you all! You are all winners in my book.

    Theresa, so happy I was able to read Naked Eye. It's a great book and I hope all the best for it. My fingers are crossed.

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    1. Miranda, I appreciated your suggestions for Naked Eye. I think my biggest problem was the query was rubbish. Now that it's made it through the pitch on ABNA, I plan to query again.

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  16. Congratulations on making it to the next round!
    I guess I do designate my friends into different categories - work friends, church friends, blogger buddies... But they are all special!

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    1. Alex, thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one who categorizes!

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  17. Congratulations to all the friends for making it to the next round! To me all friends are friends! Lol! Then there is confusion when I refer to an online friend and friends ask me 'Who?'

    Riya.

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    1. Romance Reader, I guess that's why I started saying "writer friend" I got "Who?" as well!

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  18. Congratulations to you all, and good luck for the next round. I find it hard to make friends in 'real' life, so I guess my blogging friends are my friends :-)

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    1. Sarah, I'm glad you have an alternative way to make friends then!

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  19. I'm dreaming with you. ;) I can't wait to see the feedback for the excerpts, and I really hope to make it to round 3. That would be so exciting! Good luck to you and everyone else.

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  20. Congrats to you and everyone who made it to round two!

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  21. Congrats! That's such a big cut to make it through! And I love that Mark Twain quote--I need to print it out and post it above my desk. Those are words I want to live by. :)

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    1. Meredith, I'm happy you liked the quote. I thought it was inspirational too.

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  22. Congrats to you and everyone else in the second round... how awesome. I got my fingers crossed for you.

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  23. Who is in good company???? Me!!! I really hope we all make it to the second round...and onwards!

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  24. Yay! Massive congrats to you, Theresa, and to everyone else! It's so fabulous to see those names there. Wishing everyone luck!

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    1. Talli, thanks! I appreciate it.

      I'm reading Watching Willow Watts. Really not liking that Jay guy. Poor Willow!

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  25. I do the same thing with categorizing my friends. It doesn't mean that they are less of a friend, it's just a way to keep things straight in a crazy life.
    Congratulations to the 2nd round winners for ABNA. Woot!

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    1. Ciara, keeping things straight in a crazy life--exactly!

      Thanks! I'm excited.

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  26. This is such a sweet and generous post, Theresa.

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    1. Jaye, thank you. I'm so happy for everyone I know who's made it this far.

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  27. Congrats! to the winners and good luck moving forward. And Mark Twain was one of the best with quotes.

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    1. Stephen, thank you. Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde pretty much said it all.

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  28. Thanks for the shout-out. I am not only dreaming with you, I'm obsessing with you, and a few other things we don't know the other one is doing!

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    1. Judy, you make me laugh. I'm going to have to see you in person more when I move! (You should see how often I check my e-mails these days. If I've submitted something, I can't wait for a response.)

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  29. This is so super-fantastic! I'm so proud of all you guys--most of whom I know! I do qualify my friends, but it's like you, just to be more specific. If I said, "my friend Theresa" without "my writer- or blogger-" before it, hubs goes, "How come I don't know her?" :D

    You guys are rockstars. Rock on~ :o) <3

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    1. LTM, I qualify to avoid confusion too. But I talk about some writer friends so often, my husband probably knows them better than people I see at work everyday.

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  30. I'm rooting for you Theresa! I want to see you with an enormous book contract so huge it makes headlines everywhere. I want you to be successful, to be happy, and to fulfill your dreams.

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    1. Michael, thank you. Now you have me thinking beyond ABNA.

      I hope your book catches on and makes a big splash. Just a few more months! You should be happy and fulfill your dreams too.

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  31. Wooooohooooooooo!!!!!!!! Congrats!! And 2k out of 10k? That's awesome! And I'm happy to recognize many names in that list too!
    Isn't the writer community so lovely?
    <3

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    1. Monica BW, yes, we made a big cut already. Now for the next one.

      Yes, I love the writing community.

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  32. Awesome! Good luck to you amazing ladies!!!

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  33. Congratulations, Theresa. And I loved seeing those other names up there. Good luck to you all. :)

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    1. Medeia, thanks! I'm glad to see so many names I know on this list.

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  34. Sorry, I deleted my previous comment due to typos. Hate typos!

    First of all, congrats to all of you! That's a great achievement.

    Secondly, I do catergorise my friendships but that's just so that I can keep them straight in my head and not confuse how I know them. I'm also very grateful for the friendship and support I've recieved from buddies over the internet. I'm actually lucky enough to have met a lot of my internet friends when they come to see me at my book signing events around the country. It's wonderful to put a face to the name and online personality!

    Jai

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  35. Congrats and good luck to you and all the second-rounders!

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  36. Jai, I delete comments when I notice typos too.

    It sounds like you've received great support. I agree-it's great to finally meet online friends in person!

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  37. Good for you for making it to the second round! That's impressive, especially since 8k didn't make it to that round.
    Blogging makes me feel a lot less lonely too. Somehow it's easier for me to share my ideas and aspirations about writing with fellow bloggers than with people in my "real" life, most of whom don't even know that I want to be a writer.

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    1. Neurotic Workaholic, when you put it that way, I really made the cut!

      I feel the same way about being able to share feelings online that I can't in real life. It's easier to type it than speak it.

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  38. Congratulations on getting through to the 2nd round!

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  39. I'm glad I have a writer friend like you, too, Theresa! Being surrounded by other writers, when I can't have that in my day to day life, really makes things exciting.
    Congratulations to those in the second round of ABNA!

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    1. Deniz, I coud never have this many writers in my everyday life if it weren't for blogging. Thanks!

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  40. Big congratulations to you and the others! That's really exciting :-)

    I do also qualify my friends like that, usually when I'm talking to someone else, because it's the easiest way to explain how I know that friend. My "blogger friend" usually implies it's a friend I've never met in real life, but have lots of interaction with through our blogs.

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    1. Rachel, exactly. Sometimes I have more interaction with blogger friends even though I haven't met them in real life.

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  41. Congratulations to all of you!! Wish you the best!

    I categorize my friendships too, only because I have such a variety of friends. I have close friends that I can talk to about anything, and I have activity partners that I can go anywhere with, and of course, my writer friends understand me in a way that only writers can. I don't think it's a bad thing to categorize our friendships.

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    1. Shelley, I feel the same way. And isn't it great when you have a writer friend whom you also share other aspects of your life with?

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  42. You are one of my closest writer/blogger pals in the cyber world we live in. Thank you for being you. And categorizing is not a bad thing. We do that in all areas of lives.

    CONGRADS to all, especially you, my pal. *fingers crossed*

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    1. Robyn, thank you. I've enjoyed getting to know more and more. We're past the stage of just casually reading one another's blogs. : )

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  43. Congrats to you and all the others who've made it this far. Well done!

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  44. I categorize my friendships sometimes, but mostly only if I have multiple friends with the same first name (one of my bestie writer buds has the same first name as my mother-in-law). But some of those writer friends are the closest friends I've ever had.

    So, if you made it to Round 2, you get a critique? Congrats to all!

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  45. Vicki, same first names are tough. Some of my writer friends are my closest too.

    Yes, I made it to round 2. Thanks!

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  46. That's awesome, Theresa. I recognize all those names. Plus I know someone else on the list.

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  47. Congratulations to all these blogging friends and to you Theresa!

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  48. Congratulations to you and all your friends, Theresa! That is no small accomplishment to have made it to round 2!!! So exciting! Best of luck to you and your friends - I'll be rooting for you :)

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    1. Susanna, thank you! I'm excited. And I appreciate the rooting!

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  49. I agree with putting friends into different categories. We share different things with different people, depending on how we interact and how much history we have together. All of these friends make up a wonderfully enriched life.

    You should be so proud to have made it into the second round. This writing business is super competitive, but you know that. Congratulations.

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    1. Clleemckenzie, after for writing writing seriously for nearly six years and only having a few published short stories under my belt, I'm grateful for any progress.

      It's funny how each friend can be a part of a different facet of ourselves.

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  50. I've thought about that, too, whether or not I'm diminishing the friendship by being so specific. But I think when I refer to my writer friends it's more of a compliment than anything--like saying this is the something special we share.

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    1. Carolina, I think we'd say "work friend", so why not "writer friend"? It is something special to share.

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  51. Congratulations to all those moving on to the 2nd round. Theresa, I hope you make it past the 2nd round. This seems like such a great contest--and a great way to test your writing skills.

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    1. Nutschell, it is a great opportunity. If I don't make it to the 3rd round, the feedback is harsh, but helpful.

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  52. This is wonderful news! Many many congratulations! It's been a down day on my end, but this definitely brings a smile to my face.

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  53. Mary Anne Gruen, thank you. I'm sorry you've had a down day. Hope it's better tomorrow.

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  54. Congratulations Theresa and other bloggers on reaching this level. So exciting. Judging by the number of comments many people are very interested in this. D.

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    1. Denise, it's been nice to have this much support from the blogging community.

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  55. I'm so excited for you (and your friends)! Crossing everything for you and the other bloggers I know....

    I really like putting people in categories...I do it on facebook and on twitter. It helps me when I go to read what's what with everyone. :)

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    1. Sharon, thanks for the crossings. Yes, you're right--categorizing helps us keep track.

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  56. yay!! Huge congrats Theresa for this major accomplishment! You should be very proud!

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    1. TerryLynnJohnson, thanks. I'm feeling good. Hope I'm still feeling good on 03/20 for the next round!

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  57. Aw, thank you, Theresa! And a HUGE congrats to you. I don't get too excited yet, cuz I know it's just the first round... and gosh my ms has changed so much since I submitted it to ABNA. But hey they give great feedback on your writing so it's well worth the effort.

    Best of luck for the next round. And writer friends are just the best... no one else understands our madness. :)

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    1. Pk Hrezo, I made it a point not to touch my manuscript between ABNA and the 10-page critique I'm receiving at NE-SCBWI in May. There's always something to improve isn't there? But I've had several readers, and need some professional feedback.

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  58. Congrats and good luck to you and all the others! that's exciting. I haven't looked into the ABNA contest yet, but I hear such good things about it. I'll be crossing my fingers for you!

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  59. Jemi, thank you! Give it a try next year. I can give you tips if you want.

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  60. Wishing you so much luck in getting to round three!

    I also categorise friends. I think in todays world where people communicate by so many different mediums, it's a natural thing to do. I love that the internet helps me connect with people I may not have met or talked with otherwise.

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    1. Rebecca, thank you.

      I love the Internet for the same reasons. How would we all find each other?

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. oops, left a comment with my alter-ego google account. Here it is again with the right name this time :)

    Congrats! I don't know if you know Connie Keller's A Merry Heart blog, but she was SOOO disappointed to have not made it to the 2nd round in Amaazon's contest. And then, the next day, she remembered she had submitted under her pen name, so she checked again. She made it!!!

    Next year I think I will try!

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  63. Margo, I was wondering who LittleWomen21 was. I was about to look it up when I saw your comment reposted.

    I didn't know about Connie Keller since I didn't know about her pen name until now. I'll have to go over and congratulate her. Thanks for letting me know!

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  64. First, congratulations to you and to everyone else shortlisted! On the subject of categorising friends - I do this all the time as it makes it easier to explain to others who I'm talking about and cuts out the "Which Theresa is this? The one from school? Who then? Oh, I don't know her do I..." part of the conversation! Since starting my blog and and joining a writing challenge last year, I have made so many new friends and have found that having friends who are also writers and know what I'm going through is priceless. It's easy to become ' writing friends' very quickly as we all voice our deepest hopes and fears to each other and offer each other much needed support and encouragement. I think it's just wonderful! Thanks for a great post, Theresa!

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  65. Linda K, I love this part you wrote: "...we all voice our deepest hopes and fears to each other and offer each other much needed support and encouragement." I couldn't agree more. Thanks for visiting!

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  66. I am so excited to make it through to the 2nd round too. This year was the first year I entered. I'm looking forward to receiving that feedback.
    I wish you well, hope you make it to the next round.
    Xx

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  67. Michelle, congratulations! I'm so happy for you too. Good luck making it to the second round as well.

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  68. Congratulations! How exciting! I am feeling that you will make it to round three this year.

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  69. Missed Periods, thanks. I hope you're right. Have any pull with ABNA?

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