How long can a person wait for something before the sizzle of excitement dwindles into lukewarm apathy?
Regular readers, and pretty much all the people in my real life, know I wrote for the 3-Day Novel contest again this Labour Day long weekend. So far, two friends have read my novel, The Rarest Kind, Indeed, in its entirety. Both readers are familiar with some of my past stuff, including my previous 3-Day entries, and have heartily approved of my manuscript. My colleague at work, also an English teacher, said it gave her chills: this a good thing, since we literary folk are so over-exposed to literature that relatively few pieces of fiction strike us deeply any more. The other beta reader was my bestie, who is a “tell-it-like-it-is” kind of woman: she wouldn’t tell me she enjoyed it unless the compliment was sincere, and she sent me texts about it featuring lots of exclamation points. Wahoo!
Interestingly, she also informed me that a character appears in one section wearing a green hat, and his hat magically transforms to a brown hat on the next page, which just happens to be two minutes later in novel time. Oops. The moment she informed me of my accessory-related error, my heart thudded a little at the thought of my manuscript sitting in an important room inhabited by important people, with that little landmine of a mistake just waiting to make a mess of things. I could have lived the next few months not knowing about the stupid hat, but like I said, my bestie gravitates toward bluntness.
Pardon me while I toot my own horn for a moment. In case you’re wondering, my horn is a dented bugle sort of thing with a couple of dangly fuchsia tassels. It doesn’t really hold any notes, per se, but it makes a nifty racket sometimes. Ahem:
I’m really proud of what I accomplished in this year’s entry. This piece is my favourite of all the fiction I’ve completed as an grown-up writer, and I think it could do very well in the rounds of contest judging.
(End of bugle thingy mini-solo.)
Unfortunately, the contest results are not typically released until mid-January at the earliest. January! That’s a good three months away! I’m a pretty patient woman; after all, I do teach teenagers, but waiting another twelve weeks or more to find out how I did seems cruel. Imagine if, after some weird Olympic event preformed on a couch with a laptop and way too much Diet Pepsi, the judges told the athletes they should head home, and expect an email in just over four months to announce the medalists.
They just don’t do that to typical athletes because the delay would make for really, really dull t.v. Also, the Olympians have serious muscle going on, so I think the judges are (justifiably) terrified of angering them.
Since pretty much no one is afraid of me, I will continue to wait.
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