Saturday, October 2, 2010

The dumbest thing you never knew I did

Last year, I entered the first chapter contest at the LDS Storymakers conference. It was a good chapter so I was pretty sure I would place. Probably even win, because it was that awesome. I wore an extra cute outfit on the day they announced the winners because there would be at least 350 people watching me walk up to the stage to receive my "You are awesome" certificate of proof that I can write. It was a bright pink cropped jacket in a cute tweed with a crazy flower applique. Oh, and I had on my skinny denim capris and killer pink high heels. Total business-casual-lunch/who, me?/give-me-my-prize fashionable hawtness.


The announcements were scheduled during lunch and as they previewed the prizes, I thought about how much I would enjoy having the AlphaSmart Neo for the grand prize. I plotted my path up to the front of the ballroom, noting which tables I could most easily weave around. I debated how to get rid of my gum before being called up because we had real plates and cloth napkins, not the convenient paper kind good for stashing used gum.


But the best part, the very best part, was how I teared up at least four times in an hour while I imagined it all. I teared up once because I was imagining the sense of validation I would feel for the countless hours I had spent writing. I teared up another time when I thought of how proud my parents would have been over my win. I teared up again when I thought about making the phone call to my husband. "Guess what, honey? I won!" I teared up a fourth time because I was embarrassed that I kept tearing up.


Finally, they began calling the winners. They got to my category (romance, the largest by far, I think) and the third place was . . . not mine. Oh, wow. Second place? That would be pretty awesome. Did I mention this was a great first chapter? They called second place and it was . . . not me.


Oh, my gosh. I WON. I mean, I thought I had a pretty good chance, but the reality was SO MUCH BETTER than the day dream. I teared up again just from pure emotion.


Then they called the winner. "The winner is . . ."


STILL NOT ME.


And I teared up again. Because I had to excuse myself to the outside foyer where I collapsed in a chair and laughed until I cried at what an idiot I am. If this writing thing doesn't work out, I think I'm going to give "drama queen" a shot. 


P.S. The writing thing is totally working out. I found out three hours later that day that my novel had been accepted by Covenant, and you can all read that first chapter for yourselves this upcoming March when my first book comes out. I hope you like it but just FYI, I will not be preparing any acceptance speeches or planning any acceptance outfits ever again. If I ever win a writing thingy in the future, no doubt I will be accepting the prize in something frumpy with food stuck in my teeth.

23 comments:

Kristina P. said...

OK, that is funny. And you are getting published!! So much better than that award. Make sure to wear your hot pink heels!

Karen Peterson said...

I have SO been there!

Well, except for the getting published part. Which, seriously, is SUPER exciting! March will be here before you even know it.

Melinda said...

I LOVE that story, thats flippin awesome! I mean, it sucks that you didn't win--but PUBLISHED?! WHOO HOO! Congrats, I can't wait to read it!

Kimberly said...

I thought my first chapter was pretty dang amazing too. Luckily it was the chapter I brought to Boot Camp and I had all notions of winning dispelled during that experience.

My heart still sunk a little though, I must confess. And I MAY or may not have got a bit teary.

Can't wait to read that chapter, and you? Looked totally HAWT in that outfit. Just sayin'.

Charlotte said...

I have to psych myself out about not winning all the time because my natural self is arrogant enough to always believe I have. That way I only tear up with the day dreamed acceptance only once (or twice).

LisAway said...

Best humor blog post I have read in a very, very long time. FREAKING funny. Takes me right back to Hot Pink Mess, the first post of yours I ever read (but this one is even awesomer, I think)

I love that just hours after the big embarrassment (which could only have been embarrassing to yourself) you got that much better validation. So awesome.

Aubrie said...

Congrats on getting published! I do stuff like that, too. Right now I'm trying out for a sub position for a symphony on flute and I start thinking, "What if I'm sooo good they fire the first chair and put me in it" yeah right.

Susan said...

HAHAHAHAHA. Oh my hilarious. I thought I was going to win too, but hey, at least I didn't cry.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

If they had an extra prize for hottest contestant in the consolation category, you TOTALLY would have won. You should maybe suggest that for the next conference. Anonymously.

You rock.

Becca said...

Amazing that someone lets this kind of Perfect Writing slip through their hands, huh? Also amazing how long it takes some of us (just me, maybe) to learn to laugh about it.

I love funky flowers. Just saying.

wendy said...

That is funny....no I mean sad....well kinda funny,
But Hey, the best part is your book is getting published and that is awesome for sure.

My daydreams are always so much more fantastic then my realities....I have planned the most awesome funeral speeches I am sure people will give me when the time comes.

DeNae said...

I think you are a great first chapter-er, so I don't know what those judges were smoking when they handed out the awards. I mean, I haven't read the actual winners' first chapters, nor have I read the one you're talking about. But I do have a leeetle bit of experience with "a" first chapter of yours, and I stand by my whole "what were they smoking" assertion.

Terresa said...

Oh, I feel at home here on your blog and in your words.

I have a huge imagination and was even imagining a future "win" for myself @ the same conference earlier this year, heh. :) I guess I could always blame my imagination, which is often in overdrive, which, I guess, is good for something, like, umm, writing. :) :) :)

PS: I'm looking forward to your book coming out! Yahoo!!

sarahmarie315 said...

Too funny! I love it. I mean I don't love that you lost but...well you know! Congrats on being published! Love your blog and thanks to Karen for featuring you today or I might never have found you! Placing you on my blogroll and in my links. Stop by sometime!

Soul Dipper said...

What a wonderfully, honest, open and adorable human being you are. Thank you for being to willing to share yourself in the throes of such a disappointment. I can't help but feel a whole...well, sort of a maternal thing. Onward and upward! :D

Kazzy said...

Maybe it's when you think you won't win that you actually do. Who knows. I don't enter anything...

I am anxious to read your book!

Emily said...

I am tearing up laughing at this! You are FABULOUS!

Don said...

Ah, yes - I remember that day well. I'd just narrowly avoided passing out before my pitch session.

Is it appropriate for me to confirm your fashionable hawtness that day? I hope so, because I think I just did.

And since you don't need to monetize the whole Drama Queen thing now, would you mind sharing your business plan? I've got a couple of young experts who could use the cash.

Word Verification: Pupulate. There's your writing prompt for the day.

Lara said...

OH thank you for the laugh! And I totally relate, because I tend to have these crazy daydreams, too. And then I realize how ridiculous I am. But I also say it's good to dream. Definitely good to dream.

I really can't wait for your book to come out.

Amie B said...

kindred spirits. that's what we are.

the only difference between us, is you confessed your craziness publicly and i'm still laughing and tearing up all alone in my dining room! LOL.

if you send me an email at amiegr8tstuff (at) aol (dot) com we can discuss that first page! :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I'm so excited you are getting published with Covenant! Congratulations! That is so awesome!

Alison Wonderland said...

I can't tell you how much I love and adore you.

Amber said...

I'll have you know, yours will probably be the only chick lit book I read in a long time. That is, until your next book is published.

: )