News — that may not be news to some

So… I can finally tell you what I hinted at last week (even though my sister and I both blabbed about it over on Facebook long before we should have.)

Yep – that’s me!

And, yep, that’s me finaling in another contest! Yipeeeeeeee!

I’m a finalist in the Washington, DC RWA chapter’s contest, the Marlene.

I’d gotten the email notice late on Wednesday, but didn’t want to say anything to the general public until their webmaster had a chance to upload the official word to their site. Which was hard because the email made my toes curl with delight!

Gosh, that’s exciting! I’m not sure if this will ever get old. :)

It also gave me the confidence boost to do something that does not come easy to me — to walk into a group of strangers and say “I’d like to join your group.”

Ugh… just thinking about that makes me feel like I swallowed a hot mitten. Errrrgh…

But I did it. I gathered up the gumption — with ZERO help from The Hubster, who’d sworn just the night before that he’d get up early and force my butt into the car so I’d make it to the meeting without chickening out. Swore… up and down.

With threats!!

Yeah… that didn’t happen. I finally woke him up when I came back to the room (after getting up to feed the dogs at the crack of dawn and then consuming a double shot of coffee to squeeze in a few hours of writing before I had to take a shower.)

Then I did it — I breached the castle walls and walked right in….
… to a room full of lovely and most welcoming ladies!

Lands sakes! What was I worried about?! The women of the Valley Forge RWA chapter were awesome, and generous, and kind, and so organized. I loved them to pieces!

One of the parts of their meetings is a kudos and bandaids thing, where members announce good things that happened to them since the last meeting, and shared the disappointments too. One of the first ladies to speak asked for a bandaid — she hadn’t finaled in the Marlene.

Ergh… I suddenly felt very odd about mentioning my good news. But, by the time they got around to me, I knew I had to be able to tell about the Marlene final for me — which got me very polite congratulations and a gold star pin (which is referred to as “bling” that I’ll be putting on my RWA Conference badge this summer!) Then I got a big and very hearty cheer when I said that I’d won the Emily.

My standing went from zero to hero in 2 seconds flat!

I also got a “WOW!” pin for my badge. And a Krackle candy bar that I had to surreptitiously give to the lady next to me because the rice krispies inside have gluten in them.

Then I got to take part in some great critical reviews they were doing this meeting of 3-page submissions from some of the members’ WIPs (works-in-process.) I was heartened by how kind and yet how insightful their comments were, even though I’d not had a chance to read the submissions myself.

I also got a little thrill when one of the ladies — their contest coordinator, who’s currently dealing with the mammoth effort of their “Sheila” contest — mentioned that she’d just read the most awesome submission, and it totally blew her away. What if she was talking about A Whisper To The Wild? What if it was ME she thought had written something awesome?!


I’ll know sometime in mid-April.

Fingers crossed…

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5 Responses
  1. Tricia says:

    You go Girl! I am so looking forward to being able to eventually buy your book!

  2. Joanne says:

    Congratulations! How many contests did you enter? Could you win more “ladies?”

  3. Eileen says:

    Many contests seem to be named after chapter members — the Emily, the Marlene, the Sheila… But there have been some that are called things like “Great Expectations,” or the “Royal Ascot.” Because there’s an entry fee, I’ve been a little selective to keep my budget affordable. But I’ve finaled or come a hair’s-breadth from finaling in everything so far.

  4. Deena says:

    That’s wonderful Eileen! Congrats on being a finalist and joining a new group. Something like that make my insides turn to liquid – even if I’m meeting up with people I’ve “spoken” to online for ages.

  5. Linda says:

    Congratulations on your awards Eileen!!! All your hard work is paying off and you so richly deserve it!!!