The beginning of the school year is always chaos, but I knew this year would be worse than usual. We’re transitioning to the high school with our ninth graders, so after fifteen years in one place I packed up and moved across to the high school. I’d forgotten how time-consuming putting a new room together can be. It has left me feeling totally unprepared for the school year.
Adding to that, I’m finally pursuing my dream of teaching at the college level. This semester I’ll be teaching Comp I. I’m in heaven, but it meant all that beginning of school chaos for two different teaching jobs. I literally had lists of things to do for each job, and I was going from early morning until late at night. I say all this to explain my complete loss of writer neuroses this week.
Last Sunday at the encouragement of one of my critique partners, I submitted my YA novel query to a contest for an online conference that we had signed up for. After everything that had happened, I had no time to attend those sessions. Probably because of that I didn’t even remember the conference or the contest until writer’s group met. We were busy getting the anthology we were editing put to bed so when it was mentioned in passing, I immediately forgot it.
Imagine my surprise two days later when I came home to emails from critique buddies congratulating me. I was a bit punch drunk with exhaustion and couldn’t quite make sense of this bit of news. When I found my way to the site, I was astounded to discover that my query had tied for second place in the contest. I’m still pinching myself today. Did it really happen or am I going to wake in the morning to find it was all a great dream? Sigh. Now that my memory’s back so are my writer’s neuroses.