A Year Later – Advice to the Newbies

on March 28, 2013

At this time last year, I was riding the amazing high being a finalist in the RWA Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers. I was also buried under an avalanche of emails and still have no idea how I stayed afloat. I was getting to know an amazing group of writers, who just happen to also be amazing, strong, beautiful, and incredibly supportive women.

Two days ago, I watched the hoopla surrounding the announcements for the 2013 Golden Heart and RITA awards without a dog in either race. (Couldn’t enter the GH since I sold and couldn’t enter the RITA as my book hasn’t been released yet.)

I am beside myself excited for all the finalists, both RITA and Golden Heart, but I only know the joy and fear and overwhelming rush of emotions that those Golden Heart finalists are experiencing. And it’s only just begun.

So here’s my advice for the new finalists, worth what you’re paying for it. *g*

1) Accept that your inbox will never be the same. At least not for several months. This is okay. Do what you can do. Embrace the crazy. Ride the wave. Your fellow finalists are on the same ride. Hold onto them, as they’ll be holding onto you.

2) Stop freaking about the dress. There’s plenty of time to think about getting fancied up for the awards. Wait at least a month to even think about it. And whatever dress you choose, make sure it’s comfortable. The GH glow will make you gorgeous in a potato sack. It’ll be perfect. Don’t worry.

3) Use the phrase GOLDEN HEART FINALIST at every opportunity. Your submissions get read quicker. They’re given more weight. You’ll likely still get rejections (goodness knows I did!) but you’ll get them faster, which to me is better than waiting months and months.

4) Breathe.

5) Breathe again. You might not remember every second of the next few months. You probably don’t even remember every second of that phone call you received this week. But the experience will stay with you. And you’ll smile just thinking about it, even years later.

So that’s my advice. Oh, and I forgot the most important!

6) Write a speech! My fellow 2012 finalist, Rachel Grant, pushed our group to write one, and I didn’t. I was a DJ for 8 years talking on the fly. I thought I could handle it. Thankfully, I didn’t win, but in those few seconds before my category winner was announced, I experience a flood of fear and anxiety like I have never known.  Just do yourself a favor and write the speech.

New Territory – Need Advice

on October 2, 2008

In the state of Virginia, and I’m guessing other states, the public school system requires students have a full physical to enter the school. As we recently changed schools and had not done the physical since Kindergarten, we needed a new one. So off we went to Dr. L. What you should know about Dr. L is that she is the most thorough doctor I’ve ever seen. The first time I ever went to her it was for a terribly bruised big toe. By the time I left her office that day, I’d had a pap smear and was scheduled for an MRI on my brain. I kid you not, this woman is thorough.

In the last month, Kiddo has faced two back-to-back bouts of strep throat. She also snores something terrible, suffers a touch of sleep apnea (stops breathing in her sleep) and is slightly larger than your typical nine year old. Lets just say, shopping for clothes or shoes in the kids department is a thing of the past.

According to Dr. L, taking out Kiddo’s tonsils would make a huge difference for her future. Likely less infections, less snoring, eliminate the apnea, better sleep, better metabolism which would lead to dropping the extra pounds which in turn reduces the chances of Diabetes in her future. (For the record, her father suffers from apnea, snores something terrible, is overweight and Diabetic. So these genes did not come from me. Just sayin’.)

All this means my baby is going to likely have her tonsils out at the end of the year. They’ll do it the second week of Christmas break so she won’t miss any school. I’ve had my share of surgeries in my life, spent nights in the hospital and done the recovery bit. But I’ve never had my tonsils out. Neither have any of my siblings. I’m pretty sure both my parents still have theirs. So this is all new to me.

My baby has been to the emergency room one time and that was before she was two. I’ve been very lucky with her (and believe me I’m knocking on all the wood I can find right now) so I’m a little freaked out – on the inside. I should win an Oscar for my performance of nonchalance on the outside.

What I need to know is, has anyone out there been through this? Either you’ve had the surgery yourself or you’ve been through this with your own kiddos. Any advice, things you wish you’d known, words of wisdom? I’ll take anything I can get.

PS: Her father says he’ll come here for the surgery. He’s 1100 miles away and has NEVER been here. I’ll be requesting prayers for that ordeal at a later date.