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And now, I wait…

May 1, 2020

Yesterday, I emailed my entry for the 2020 “Baen Fantasy Adventure Award.” The entire process has been…interesting. Certainly, the experience of having multiple beta readers and a real editor was challenging in ways I did not expect. It was amazing the way what had been simply words on a screen became dear friends when someone suggested I change or eliminate them. “No, I like the way I wrote it!” surprised me as my first response. It got easier, though, with each revision. Microsoft Word was helpful in that regard. It let me track changes, so I could see the story improving as I made many of the suggested revisions. It was a lesson learned. At least I was no longer so attached to the words.

Yeah. Right.

My plan had been to let the story sit for a few days, or even a couple of weeks, before giving it one, final review. What I found was that I kept putting off that final review. Fortunately, I had made sure I told enough people about the story that I was finally forced to do the deed (in the not too distant past I had missed a deadline with a promised contribution – that was so very not good, I never want to do that again). There I was, yesterday, sitting at the computer. The story had received its final going over. It was properly formatted. It was attached to the email message, the body of which contained all the required information. You would think that at that point, it would be easy to hit “send.”  You would be wrong. It’s funny, when I think about it. As a nurse, and as an EMT before that, I have had my hands wrist deep in human abdomens and chests. I have placed and removed tubes in pretty much every place they can go in the human body. As a hunter, fisherman and farmer’s son, I have cleaned, field dressed and butchered things ranging from tiny to enormous. And I couldn’t bring myself to send the story off to the publisher. I didn’t want to. What if the words weren’t good enough? You know what I tell people to do in similar life situations? I tell them to do it anyway. Just like when I was learning to rappel, once you take that first step off the cliff or platform, you’re committed and it’s easy. So, I hit “send” anyway, and just like when I took that step off the platform, the world did not come to an end. Weird, huh?

Once more, to all my beta readers and to my editor LC, regardless of outcome, you guys helped me write something far, far better than I could have written without you. Regardless of what Baen says, if ya’ll will keep reading and making suggestions, I’ll keep writing. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll actually get one of these things published.

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One Comment
  1. OldNFO permalink

    Go forth and do well! Glad I could contribute…

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