So I realized that on this blog I have never even mentioned something in my life that is super incredibly and overwhelmingly exciting to me.
I heard about this creative writing contest last summer, hosted by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (if you haven’t read the “Tales of Goldstone Wood” series, do. Re-reading ALL of them is very high on my list of things to do this summer). She’s one of my favorite authors, and by “favorite” I mean I picked up Heartless one evening during finals and loved it so much that I read the entire thing in like 2.5 hours. Even though I was supposed to be working on finals. And then I re-read it that same week.
Okay, okay. You can judge me if you want. Honestly, reading the entire book twice in one week instead of working on final projects and stuff was probably not my wisest choice ever. The book was just that good, though.
Anyhow, so I fell in love with her books and even paid real money to buy some. Then I heard about this Five Glass Slippers contest.
“Well, that would be cool,” I thought. “Maybe I should try…” I’ve always enjoyed writing, after all; why not? I washed dishes until inspiration hit, then set to work last June. I pulled many late nights/early mornings writing away, justifying it by saying I was “getting used to China time.” I had my story mostly finished by the time I left for China, then put the final touches on it in August before leaving for ABC. Now I just had to submit it.
It was difficult submitting it. I’m not a fan of critique. What if I would fail? I put it off as long as possible. The deadline was December 31st; even though I had it completed in August, I didn’t send it in until the very last day I could. And even then, I almost didn’t. It took much encouragement and convincing from Mother, Mother, Best AND Dearest OF Mothers, Ruth, and Berea. They brainstormed with me until a name was chosen: “What Eyes Can See.” (You don’t want to hear any of my other ideas. They were pretty cliche and completely boring. Next time you see Ruth, thank her for sparing you from those.) I signed my name, made my final revisions getting the word count down (working until the very very last minute possible, of course) … and off it went.
March 1st was the date Ms. Stengl had chosen to announce the winners, so until then it was just waiting and homework. Much to our delight, the date was bumped up to February 1st. I fell asleep that Friday night dreaming about Five Glass Slippers, and woke up thinking about it. “She hasn’t announced it yet this morning,” I thought to myself. “You may as well go back to sleep. Plus, you’re not even on the winners list.” I rolled back over. “But…you never know…I mean, it can’t hurt to check really quickly…”
Quietly, so as not to disturb my roommate, I got out my laptop and waited anxiously for the wifi to connect. (Thankfully, not a lot of students are doing stuff Saturday mornings, so it didn’t take too long.) I made my way directly to Ms. Stengl’s blog. My stomach was more fluttery than it had ever been in my entire life.
“What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball?” I read. My eyes grew three sizes bigger. That was my story. First on the list. (Sometimes alphabetical order really works in my favor.)
I freaked out so. stinkin. much. But quietly. Jenna was still sleeping. February 1, 2014, was one of the most exciting days of my life.
Until June 14, that is. Because on June 14, my story will be released in a book. In fact, you can go pre-order it on Amazon now!
Honestly, I am not sure why I haven’t blogged about this before. Probably because I’ve been squealing all over facebook for the past months, and all y’all except the few silent stalkers I’ve accumulated (hi out there! Don’t be so shy!) are my friends on facebook, so I didn’t think you needed to hear more squealing. But today I’m squealing here.
alkja o;fiaje klaenf oaijg aerlfkj!!!!!!!!!
(That was my squeal.)
Isn’t it gorgeous?!