The Heart of the West Contest. Apparently, it's for published and non-published folks alike. So I'm feeling pretty stoked about being a finalist in that at least two of the other finalists in my category have not just published but have LOTSA published. And they have really cool looking books, like stuff I'd enjoy reading, and have lots of >stars< and comments on websites like amazon.com.
So it occurs to me two things.
#1) Wahoo, that's pretty boss that I am in the same field with these folks.
#2) Snowball's chance for me.
And all that's good. I'm just more pleased about sort of holding my own with folks who obviously have had publishing success and lots of it. I am reassured that I'm moving in the right ("write") directions.
So just to keep me grounded in reality, I got my first round of edits back on The Lesser Evil (book #3) by the editor She-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless. (Look, I'm indoctrinated in the practice of HIPPA and privacy stuff. I don't know what I can and cannot say publicly, so I'm erring on the side of keeping my yap shut.) Anyway, I won't say the editor's conclusion was for a complete revamp, but I definitely need to layer some character elements and conflict into the manuscript to make it palatable for the average reader of paranormal. Bummer, but true, and the good news is, it's something I can fix, which is swell.
Even better news, I'm on call all weekend and >knock on wood< no calls yet, so I've had a lot of time where I can't leave the area. So I've gotten 1/4 of the way back through the manuscript, already can see improvements. I'm not proud. I'll say it: Editor Doe is right and I love that feedback. (Ok, love it and hate it. Who wants to do more work? Anyway, there's at least hope.)