Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Genesis Contest -- Blessing or a Curse?

BIG NEWS from the home front this week. I have to admit I’m still loony about it. While we were blog-breaking, I got a phone call from one of the Genesis contest coordinators that I have semi-finaled in the Genesis contest. Only one of the largest, nationwide competitions for unpublished writers. What does it mean?
I have no clue.
Because I’m in uncharted territory with excitement and nerves similar to Reepicheep the Mouse who set off in his little dingy to explore the waters beyond Narnia in The Voyage of the Dawn Treador. I’m paddling, I’m staring ahead, I see light, massive lily flowers of promise, and one ginormous question mark.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • I am one of the top 10 writers in the Historical Romance genres.
  • I will hear if I’m one of the top 3 around June 15th.
  • If I am, I have 2 days to fine tune my entry based on judges comments and ship it off to be analyzed by a panel of editors and the winner will be announced at the ACFW Conference that I’m going to in September.

Here’s the excitement:

  • I finaled, I finaled, I finaled!

Here’s the question mark:

  • Crud. Did you see who I finaled against? I suck.
  • Did the judges get me mixed up with someone else, cause if I was a judge and I read THAT synopsis I would’ve pitched the entire entry—into the can.
  • AND, if MY synopsis was one of the top ten then that means I’m surrounded by really, horrid writers. No. I’m not.Yes, the judges got me mixed up. Shoot. I might as well enjoy this top 10 because I’m not going any further.I know half the others in my category who semi-finaled already have agents—that automatically means they’re better than I am.Why the heck did I enter? What a stupid idea.

Let’s face it folks. Even in the face of great adventure, we all have misgivings, self-doubt, self-deprecation, and a mortifying sense of doom. There are hundreds of writers out there receiving back their entries to the contest, heartbroken. I almost felt I could deal better with that than the taste of success. Fine. Half glass empty.
So, why does the Lord does give us a modicum of success in this life, and what do we do with it? My Admin at work would start crooning Bing Crosby’s “Count Your Blessings”, but she’s weird like that. I think sometimes that horrible awful side of life—the anti-God side—wants to sabotage our joy. Since when did we start feeling guilty about being joyful?

Ok. Fine. I’ll count my blessings:

  • Anne. Dear Anne. If she felt a pang of jealousy she never let on. She rejoiced in my semi-final with the pride and laughter of a sister.
  • Kara. She made me enter THE NIGHT BEFORE IT WAS DUE. I’ve never written a synopsis so fast and so horribly but she hacked it apart made me rewrite it, and I guess I always should listen to Kara.
  • My husband. He hates fiction. Let’s be honest. The last fiction book he read was in high-school because it was required reading. He gives a pass to the Chronicles of Narnia because they’re allegorical. Outside of that, he’s preparing his Biblical Hebrew language flash cards for my three year old daughter’s PRE-pre-school training. The nod of his head and smile was all I needed when I announced I had semi-finaled. He was proud. That was enough.

I suppose the moral of this story has nothing to do with contests, who’s better than who, how I’ll never ever beat Gabrielle Meyer ;) … it’s about humility and trust. Receiving a blessing of joy that God extends. Receiving it for what it’s worth—nothing more and nothing less. Because, we hear so much about the trials and stressers and tribulations of this life … a blessing here and there can go an awful long way—if we let it.

Let’s count them? Name off some of your blessings?


Jaime Wright -

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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  1. Replies
    1. Don't be too excited -- I'll be hitting you up soon to help fix that horrible synopsis! LOL

  2. Part of me wants to say I'm like Bill Cosby who stopped allowing his TV show to be entered into the Emmys because they were winning it EVERY TIME. A holla for his arrogance!!
    One reason I didn't enter my work?

    The other reasons, all 4392 of them??
    I SUCK like a THOUSAND Dysons jacked up on Bolivian coffee!!!
    Who wants to read my crap?!?!
    Huh?? NO ONE!!!

    I did enter the Frasier.
    I was spending alot of money at the time and prayed about which contest to enter. So, the Frasier was it.

    I must say, way to go Jaime!!!!

    1. You'll have to keep us posted on the Frasier then!! Hope you do well too. :)

  3. Congratulations on your semi-final, Jaime! That's quite an accomplishment.

    1. Thx Keli, I am so thankful for it. It was a timely pick-me-up!

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  5. GO JAMIE!!!

    That's awesome!!!!

    I got RIPPED in two contests right before Genesis was announced and was ready to chuck it all [though my critters and writer/BFFs weren't going to let me]. Those gals? Those are some major blessings right there.

    The... odd? Thing is that out of all of the contests more than one of us has entered this year [out of 4 of us] at least one of us has finaled in every one [well, semi-finaled in Genesis still].

    Why is it so so so easy for me to be OVER THE MOON happy for them when they final [and I don't] and so very very very hard for me to believe the opposite is true?


    Human nature I suppose. I think there may be a blog post in there somewhere... ;)


    I know some of the peeps in my category [that would be the category category - yeah, that needs a new name ;)] but don't know much about their writing off the top of my head. Despite that, the whole "it's an honor just to be nominated" [or semi-finaled in this case] is beyond true. I look at the names I *do* know in other categories and am awed to be among them.

    Now... if I don't get an ulcer before June 15, I'll be in good shape ;).

    1. Oh I already have like 40 ulcers. :P LOL I'm sorry but I have to ask: what IS Category? LOL Literary???

    2. It's "short romance" - manuscripts geared at Love Inspired/Heartsong/etc. :)

      Yeah. New name. ;)

    3. OHHH!!! Well why didn't they SAY that? Just call it the "Short Romance Category". LOL

  6. I still refuse to open my entry because I'm afraid of what I'll find! Come on, June 15!

    1. I opened my Genesis entries for the last two years with baited breath. Last year I got high marks on my rough draft that I sent in on a whim and the one I labored over was so low that I almost burned the manuscript. LOL Take the crits as tender and loving in spite of it -- and be true to your writing too! :)

  7. Jaime, you made me LOL because I've felt many of the same feelings, especially looking at others in my category and thinking, "Crap, I have nooooooo chance!" But to me, I try to focus on this: last year, I didn't semi-final. This year, I did. Personal improvement is what it's all about, not beating someone else. Because in the end, God's got a spot for each one of us. That's why I love this online community so much. We truly can celebrate with each other!

    1. WEll, the funny thing is, I'm as excited for some in my category (like Gabrielle!) to win as I am for myself. SO how does THAT work?? :) You're right -- this community is fantastic and shows how the Body of Christ SHOULD work :)

    2. Love your perspective Lindsay!!

  8. Congratulations, Jaime! I was so excited to see your name on the Semi-finalist list!

    1. Oh thx Erica! :) I'm pretty excited too! .. and surprised

  9. It is so awesome that you've gotten this far, and each year you get better and better, further and further. That's how God's growing you! Can't wait to hear the results! Congratulations!

    1. Biting my fingernails .... :) I need a BLIZZARD :)

    2. At least one a week til then! ;)

  10. oh, nice place to vent.
    I am also a semi-finalist. I was not OVER THE MOON because my semi Final in Category Category (love that category!) was not my only submission. So it was like one baby climbed out of the hole and another one didn't make it.

    So, Jaime - I didn't final in HR and I was disappointed. Yes, it tempered the excitement of my first ever Genesis semi-final.

    Now as for June - the way I look at it... I'd like to final but I'd be shocked, gobsmacking-screaming shocked to final. IOW, I'm thrilled to have made it to the semi-finals. In all the ocntests I've finaled in. I was just as happy to final and if I didn't win, that was okay because I know it's pretty subjective... When I won one, I was utterly shocked and quite excited.

    I don't even want to think about the date of the announcement. I hate the anticipation so my preference is to NOT note the date for the announcements... thanks for reminding me. NOT!
    ha ha ha.
    okay = see you in a month. Jumping when phone rings, checking online every 15 mins.

    1. Ah yes. Debra! I don't know that I've read anything by you but I know where you hang out and I know they tend to rub off ;).

      I had more than one that didn't make it [including a revamp of one that did semi, but not final, last year]. So yeah. Understand that.

      The category category coordinator is local for me - and we have our ACFW meeting that day. Could be interesting. Will have to bring a paper bag to hide the tear stains - because though hope springs eternal, reality is, well... real ;).

    2. All in God's hands, huh, ladies? :) Best blessings on you both and ALL of us in our endeavors. Glad you felt you could vent, Debra. :)

  11. Blessings:
    Jaime--I love you for being so honest and transparent! :)
    Ted--my hubby who tells anyone he can that I've written two books. God bless him.
    Emily--my beautiful sweet daughter who is done with her first year of Professional Writing at Taylor University and offered to help me with edits and proposal-writing. Great thing--she's succinct, a strength I need to hone.
    There's more...but I'll stop before it sounds like a bad speech. :)

    1. our Acknowledgment pages in our books will be at least a 25,000 WC by the time we're done, Anne :)

    2. Bahaha! :) Eternal smirk...

  12. That's right, always listen to Kara. Any chance you can convince my toddler that as well?

    Seriously, I'm so proud of you (and excited!!!!!). I knew you could do it!

    1. :) well, as long as you're my cheerleader ... :)


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