Monday, June 14, 2010

Cut from ABNA

Well, I didn't make it to the final round for the Amazon contest.  Although I'm disappointed, I'm really taking this as all positive - the manuscript was good enough to make it to the top 50.  Since submitting it, I've been working on the second book and have come up with a lot of ideas for things I want to add / change to the first, so in a way, it's a good thing I didn't win.  I'll take this as a sign to keep working the series.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One of Fifty

Made it to the Semi-Finalist round in the Amazon contest.  Now am one of fifty.  The last cut will be brutal as they drop us down from 50 to 5.  We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One of Two Hundred Fifty

Well, I have advanced a bit further in the ABNA.  At this point, the anxiety has reached epic levels.  Each cut I make, while wonderful in and of itself, ultimately seems to cause an increase in extreme neurotic behavior.

Since discovering that I am now one of two hundred and fifty, I have been obsessively re-reading the manuscript, frantically checking createspace and amazon to see if any new reviews have been posted, and generally making myself insane.  Ultimately, while I am thrilled to have made it this far, I am terrified the next cut will leave me crying into my bowl of cheerios, woefully bereft of breakthrough worthiness.

Is it April 27th yet?

Friday, February 26, 2010

One of a Thousand

Well, I am now one in a crowd of a thousand who made it to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.  Actually, technically, I’m one of two thousand — there’s me and 999 other hopefuls in the Young Adult section and then another thousand in General Fiction.  This first round was based on nothing more than a 300-word pitch of our novel, so it’s great news in the sense that I now feel like I have a functional query letter (which has been absolutely the hardest thing to write, harder even than the 67,000 word novel!)  But now the hard stuff begins — they actually start to read our novels!  The next round is based on the first 5,000 words of the novel, and the pool of a thousand gets narrowed to 250.  And so the waiting begins… March 23rd can’t come soon enough!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Attempts to Enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest

11:17 p.m.  So busy working on my lesson plans (STILL), missed 11:01 by 16 minutes.  That’s okay, I still have time!

11:26 p.m.  ARGH!  Lots of difficulty getting the webpage to load correctly!  Finally am getting somewhere… now waiting for my DESCRIPTION (not the pitch, but the DESCRIPTION) to load.  Description isn’t even anything to be seen by judges, but necessary for if / when the novel’s excerpt is available for review by Amazon public.

11:27 p.m. ARGH!  It’s still working to load the description.  Is this normal?  What if it’s stuck in a loop and never stops pretending to load?  It’s only 212 words, people!  HELP!  whimper…

11:29 p.m. I can’t move on.  I’m stuck waiting for Part I to save, so that I can move on to Part II, which is still NOT the uploading of all my materials, but is my contact information.  Can’t go to part II until part I gets loaded.  ARGH!!!  Oh my god, the anxiety I am experiencing canNOT be good for my health!

11:31 p.m.  I’m starting to get really paranoid.  What if in those 16 minutes I was busy lesson planning, 5,000 other people were uploading their manuscripts?  WHAT IF I’VE MISSED MY CHANCE??????  AAAAAHHHHH!

11:33 p.m. Ummm…. really?  This many minutes to save 212 words?  Something’s wrong.  My carefully worded description has hacked the entire Amazon Breakthrough Novel system and I’ve ruined this process for myself AND 4,999 other crazed hopefuls.  Oh save me!

11:35 p.m.  What on EARTH am I going to do when it’s trying to upload my MANUSCRIPT?  I think I might die of the anxiety before I even reach the pitch stage.  This is ABSURD.  I’ve lost all sense of reality.  I’m stuck in some alternate universe where the entirety of my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness hinges on the acceptance of the DESCRIPTION of my novel!

11:36 p.m.  Seriously.  How do I know if it’s not working?  I mean the silly blue arrow keeps on a-swirlin’, but nothin’s happening!

11:39 p.m.  Hey, great news!  I found the spot where all the other 4,999 crazed hopefuls are hanging out and some of them have been staring at a blue swirlin’ arrow for 30 minutes!  So, hey, 13 minutes, not so bad… of course, that means I have at least another 17 to go and this is only part I of IV.  ARGH!!!!

11:43 p.m. Bored now… just think of all the lesson planning I could be doing… if only I weren’t riveted to this little blue arrow.

11:48 p.m. Still in blue arrow manic depressive mode… I bet you’re bored now too, aren’t you?  Pretty soon I’m going to have to put in the Buffy musical episode, just so that I can sing my way through this farce.

11:57 p.m. I’m officially panicked.  Half the crazed people are all “I’m in — goodnight and good luck” and the other half of the crazed people are all “blue arrow - blue arrow - blue arrow - blue arrow - blue arrow - blue arrow”.  Wanna guess which category I’m in???  And all those people who are “in” — ARGH!  They’re part of that 5,000!!!  What if 4,999 other people say they’re “in” and just when I’m about to say “I’m in!” some other crazed blue arrow person hijacks my in-slide and steals my slot???

12:07 a.m.  OMG. One of the crazies suggested hitting refresh, which I did… with great fear I might add, as I was certain it was going to do EXACTLY what it did… all my info, gone, in a flash.  I sighed and began again.

12:08 a.m.  Accidentally hit backspace key, backspaced away from page.  ARGH!!!  Loaded page again, entered part I’s info again, hit save and…

12:09 a.m. Blue swirly arrow appears for two seconds, then WHAM!  On to part II.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to the refresh god.

12:10 a.m. Entered contact info, saved, hallelujah, on to Part III!

12:11 a.m.  Uploaded pitch successfully… everything hinges on the pitch.

12:12 a.m.  Pasted excerpt successfully… re-read, looks good… everything hinges on the excerpt.

12:13 a.m.  Attached manuscript successfully… everything TRULY hinges on the manuscript.

12:14 a.m.  Uploading excerpt…. SUCCESS!

12:15 a.m.  Uploading manuscript…

12:16 a.m.  SUCCESS!

12:17 a.m.  Accepted contest rules and regulations.  Hit submit entry and… SUCCESS!

12:17 a.m.  Received official email from welcoming me as one of the 5,000 manic writers.

12:29 a.m. In case you’re wondering what happened between 12:17 and 12:29 a.m., it went something like this:

Gasp!  “I’m in.”  Shocked staring ensues.  Twelve minutes later…

12:29 a.m. cont. Cats wake me from a self-induced state of shock.  Time for bed where I will undoubtedly agonize over my submission and wish that I had changed this word or that…. I live in fear of February 25th.