I feel... erm... rubbery? Squiggly? Altogether not quite normal... but before I get to THAT, I should tell you THIS:
Denise Verrico (remember, the kinky Vampire romance writer?) is hosting me today where I'm talking about keeping it FUN. Surely I will be more coherent THERE than here (as I wrote it earlier), so I'd love it if you wanted to check that out, too!
As for here... why so strange?
ABNA (the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, for the unititiated)
They posted the lists of those passing to the next round yesterday afternoon. It was a manic day, hard to work... checking the page frequently, camaraderie among participants as we fretted and panicked... then, about one o'clock, the list went up.
here. Without even looking, though, I can tell you there is some FABULOUS news on there... several of our bloggie friends have made it. Last year I knew maybe 3 or 4 people who made the cut. This time I'm sure I know two dozen, and it isn't that I've spent that much more time on the boards... though it IS maybe, that I've nurtured a number of friendships over the last year of people I've come to learn are ABNA people.
What IS an ABNA person? Well, those of us with FOMS aside... they are a mix, but I think a great many of them are people who tried it once, before they were probably READY to have book luck with an agent, but they fell in love with the contest (or rather contestants) and so keep coming back, even though their writing has progressed and they are perfectly suited to go more traditionally... Some of them are a bit shy about the agent rejection thing, so in spite of doing well in the contest, they don't promote themselves as well... it's not in their nature. Whatever the case, it is a FUN group, a kind group, and they were 99.9% superstars yesterday, win or lose, in the sportsmanship department.
I know what it feels like to lose at round one. That's what I did last year. I loved my book (I still love that book) but I now know even if I'd had a coherent pitch, which I really didn't) the excerpt wasn't ready EITHER... it starts too early in the story. But even LOSING was informative. Last year I learned the benefit of extensive feedback on the pitch... and I learned something else.... for a mass market contest like this, you need to have a coherent, easy to present, catchy idea that can be presented quickly. It's why I was set on Kahlotus Disposal Site, even though it hadn't had an edit before January (and so in spite of 2 edits before entering, still isn't quite cooked).
And because I know what it feels like to NOT make it, part of me feels really BAD about making it... I feel sad for friends who didn't.
Michael (because I'd read his excerpt and wished him well)--THERE. I looked for Erica because she is a blogger buddy... THERE... I looked for
Tracy because she is one of my ABNA friends from last year... THERE... my percentage of first names I looked for was 4 for 4! Cruising that end of the alphabet, I saw
Roland (I hadn't even known he was entered because I can be clueless that way). In adult... Barbara is in! Donna is in!
And congratulations to my friends who made it, and while I'm sad for those who didn't, maybe learn what I think I did... this is a FABULOUS contest, but it isn't suited for all genres, and certainly not for deep nuances or complexities of description—I ENCOURAGE people to enter, but maybe choose the work to enter with that in mind.
And to anyone who DIDN'T make it... don't get discouraged... another year, a polished pitch, another judge... we keep improving and learning, and everyone will get their turn if they don't give up.