I’m published! It’s hard to believe that the day I rejoiced in for others has finally happened for me. Publication. I entered a flash fiction 21-word writing contest, and promptly forgot about it. So, yes, I was shocked, then delighted, when I received an email that Miss Penny Dreadful, the editor of Flash Fiction for Haunted Waters Press, told me I’d won.
The subject of the contest was “Paint a Picture” in exactly 21 words. Since I’ve been working on a novel for the past 3 years, I certainly had more than enough copy in my hands to try and cull out 21 words. I just wasn’t sure the 21 words would paint a picture.
In the process of writing fiction, however, a writer is constantly making up scenes, or creating characters, and dialogue and then re-writing those steps to paint a picture for the reader. So my search for the 21-words didn’t take long. I have practically memorized every page of the novel by now. And, when contests come open with various themes, I can in short shrift, find 6 words, 12 words, or 21 words to enter. The hardest part has always been to find the courage to hit the “send” button and be done with it.
So what does this publication mean for me now? In my mind, it gives me “street cred” that I am not only a writer, but an award winning one at that. It can be verified input in a query letter to a lit agent or publisher that I know what I’m doing with my writing, and am not just a flash in the pan. I have a reason to create a portfolio. Best of all, it’s a small candy that I can hold inside my cheek to sweeten every day as I head closer to trying to get my novel finished to send to a publisher. And that my desires says it all. “She won an award for her writing!” Whisper whisper whisper