Caller ID can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing, when the Consumer Research people are calling for the umpteenth time to find out what I think about fabric softener (um, it's stinky), or when a well-meaning person is calling to collect funds for the Underprivelidged Endangered Species annual ball (not that we don't support underprivelidged endangered species, of course). A curse when a random person is calling to give you good news and you don't answer because you don't recognize the number.
This "Burgess T Ric" person had been calling our house nonstop for several evenings. Clearly, s/he wasn't going to take no for an answer, so I was primed and ready to give our standard "we don't give money over the phone" in the most polite but firm voice possible when it turned out to be Sue Burgess, Chairman of the SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant Committee. Who was calling me! To tell me good news! I won a grant!
I was too flustered to even ask which grant (I had applied for the Contemporary Novel for Young People category but was automatically entered in the Grant for a Work Whose Author Has Never Had a Book Published category), but I know I was the first runner up for...something. I think it was the Contemporary Novel category, but then I guess I will have to wait for the official announcement in September to find out. But here's the cool part - the Contemporary Novel grant is funded by none other than Judy Blume. Holy cow! Judy Blume read my manuscript!
You have to forgive my excitement, which comes on the heels of me thinking my novel is a huge waste of time, money, and megabytes. A friend said writing is like being a comedian who tells a joke then hears the laugh three (or five, or ten) years later. So getting some validation between the telling and the laugh is a huge, huge thing, a little particle of hope that it might be good. Or at least the first 25 pages are, which will serve as fuel to keep going. I looked up previous winners on Amazon, and all but three of them were now published and many of them critically acclaimed. Wow!
This also served as a little push to finally finish updating my website, which might (hopefully) get more traffic once this is officially announced. So stop on by! Read stories! Make stuff! Read a Brimstone Soup teaser! Read my blustery bio! And enjoy.