I feel March Madness in a totally cool way. And it isn't because my bracket is blowing away the hubby's, either (it usually does, mostly because I know absolutely nothing about basketball).
No, I'm in my own sort of bracket right now, called the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Contest. I submitted my best novel to it this year, and in February the pitch for it got me into the top 20%. And now? Well, the novel's made it into the top 250 out of around 5,000 novel entries in the YA division. Woo-hoo!
Where does that put me? The sweet sixteen? How in the world should I know. I became a writer because I wasn't any good at math. But if you divide 250 by 5,000, you get 0.05. What does that mean? The only reason I know is that I've been a teacher for the last twenty years. It means my novel's in the top FIVE PERCENT of the novel pool submitted this year (at least according to ABNA judges--whom I adore to distraction!).
I am so grateful for this. I've had so many opportunities over the last six months--from the invitation to write a story for the Death by Chocolate anthology to ghost writing opportunities through other freelance venues--and right now I feel more useful as a writer than I have probably ever felt in my entire life!
Can you tell I'm about to explode with happiness? I sure hope I've made that clear. Then again, maybe all this elation is annoying. At this point, I can't say I really care if it is. I've made it to the next round, and I wouldn't have without all of your help, all of my own hard work, and a bunch of luck along the way.
Oh, and I did have to submit the novel. Are you, perhaps, sitting on something you should be sending out into the wide world? Don't sit on it any longer. No telling how far you'll go.