Thursday, June 5, 2008

Get in the Game!! by DL Larson

The Illinois Summer Reading Program is themed, "Get in the Game!" It should be an exciting season involving kids on the competition happening at the Summer Olympics in China, as well as in our small town library. We'll have bicycle safety day and obstacle courses, and we'll read about cyclists who won against the odds. We'll have relay races, scavenger hunts and use our hand-eye coordination while we explore the art world with balloon-dart painting. We will keep stats in our Play Book and hand out trophies to those deserving the recognition, even if it's simply for enthusiasm and attendance. The point is, only through involvement can we measure success. It's not so different in the writing world.

Just this week I won in a contest too. Guess one might call it the Silver Medal, coming in second. The important thing is I competed. I braved all my insecurities and got involved with a worthy endeavor. The Ancient City Romance Authors run a huge contest for published authors, called The Anne Bonney Fiction Contest. The category I won in was for Best Plot! Coming in second feels pretty darn good. The competition was fierce, and that makes the win all the sweeter. The yellow medalion posted above will soon be on my new webpage. First, I wanted to display it here, not to brag, but to instill encouragement to those struggling in this topsy-turvy writing world. Think of it as a beacon to "get in the game!" Competition motivates me to work harder, be more concise yet fluent at the same time. It scares me too.

Overcoming my fear of competition hasn't subsided, but my determination to forge ahead anyway has blossomed. I figure that's a good balance. It paid off this time. The Ancient City Romance Writers Chapter doesn't stop when all the tallies are in. They post the winners in many places. How? With posters in book stores around the country. I freaked when I heard that. How generous of them. How absolutely wonderful of them. I want to run around to all the stores and see if my book cover is posted somewhere I never dreamed it would be hanging. This brings me to the second picture - my book cover of Promises To Keep. If you see my book cover on a poster in some store - it could be a Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, or some independent store, please, please, let me know. Mostly so I can scream in delight and call every person I know to go see it. Maybe some kindly soul will even buy a book or two, or three. :)

So once again my everyday life has over-lapped my writing career. Competition, and "get in the game", go hand in hand. Life is a little quirky sometimes, but I am thankful for my kids at the library, and for the ACRWA for offering such a competent contest for authors. I'm doing the happy dance! Maybe I'll teach it to my kids. I'll call it dancing before the big game ... eh, I'll work on the title later. Learning to take the steps are what's important. Right?

Til next time ~

DL Larson

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