This weekend my fortune read:
A big fortune will descend upon you this year.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
After a break, I’m taking another course for my Special Education certification. The homework load is crushing. I’ve decided the only way I can continue to write is to use my precious 30-minute lunch like I did last year. But I’m having a hard time meeting the demands of the students at school, so lesson plan prepping is creeping into lunch. I was also lucky enough to get a big website content-editing job, but it will be another responsibility to make time for… if I only had more time.
Amid all of the dark and dreary prospects for my writing, I received a shimmer of hope. I made it into Pitch Madness
Funny because this summer, I emailed Sharon Mayhew and said I was done with contests because nothing would ever come of them. My previous attempts had either fallen flat or I got through one round just to lose later on.
Then WriteOnCon came ‘round. I put a query and pages up on the forums. But his time I didn’t hope for a Ninja request. Even though this manuscript came together for me in a way that no previous one had before, I hadn’t had as many writers critique it yet, so I wasn’t confident.
But it just felt so… polished.
The feedback was positive. And I actually received a Ninja request for pages!
When Pitch Madness started, I submitted with more confidence. Though I was thrilled to get a slot (thanks, S.M. Johnston ) the thrill soon gave way to nerves. Writers can only be happy for about 5 seconds.
Twitter hashtag #PitchMadness soon came alive with entries that writers loved. Mine received little mention. I told myself to prepare for the worst (I’m part Irish).
While I waited for the results, I pushed to finish my course assignments. If I didn’t complete them a day early, I wouldn’t be able to meet with a new critique group I’d been invited to join.
On Monday evening, my son and husband cooked dinner, so I could do homework. My daughter did extra too.
Tuesday my body buzzed with nerves. Work was hectic. Then the Pitch Madness news came in at noon—I had 3 bids and all from Awesome Agents. The highest bid requested a query + 100 pages. But I couldn’t bask in the sun of requests. Instead, I studied for and took an online quiz while I cooked dinner. Then I rushed my daughter to ballet.
(Where I couldn’t find a parking spot, so I had to rush into a bakery to buy a tart slice for “dinner” before I got a parking ticket. I sat in the car to send out my query and 100 pages to the winning agents.)
After that, I attended my son’s high school orientation, rushed to the critique group (where I was pretty incoherent), and arrived home shortly before bedtime.
This morning, as I was driving (groggily) to work, I thought about the last week and about my cookie fortune. My mind wandered to my husband’s fortune:
You will soon discover how fortunate you really are.
His fortune applied to me too. It’s easy to lose sight of this when sagging beneath money worries, deadlines we think we can’t meet, errands, obligations, insecurities, and setbacks.
I can focus on the uncertainties, the things not going right or I can focus on my family who make sure I could make time for school and writing. Even if I don’t get an agent out of this, the Pitch Madness team and three agents saw some promise in my premise and pages.
If I always look at what I don’t have, what I’m striving for, I’ll forget to remember how fortunate I really am. Right now.