Very Cool Prize Won and Some Musings…

Current Facebook Status: woke up thinking it was Saturday. She nearly cried when she realized it wasn’t. Not really, but was very disappointed. 😉

Plus posted this pic today:

Currently playing in the background: NCIS, season 6, next to last ep [whatever number that is] and my DVD is skipping…

There it was.  Nathan Bransford’s 1000th blog post.  He was offering a critique of the query letter and first five pages of the manuscript for the 1000th commenter.  So I joined in the fun.  Lots of Princess Bride quotes and Star Wars questions – along with a few [dozen?] recs for Castle [and Nathan Fillion!].  So I made a few comments, possibly a few new friends and then it said 970 comments… Could I get two more in?!  ‘Eek!  Who will it be?’  And the next page said like 1014 comments!  I’d missed it!  Or had I?!  I went back a page and… voila!

That did it!  Comment 1000!  So I am now the proud winner of a query letter/5 pages critique by super cool agent Nathan Bransford – who also had the distinction of being my first rejection ;).  Now to fret over them a bit before sending them to him.

Seriously, as I’m getting ready to send queries out to the agents that I really, really want to work with – this is huge!  Thank you, God.  It’s a total God thing!

So that was the cool prize, now the musings…

After a rough end of the week last week, I read this blog post today in Novel Journey’s author interview with A. K. Arenz:

At what point did you stop juggling suggestions and critiques and trust yourself (as a writer)?

In the mid 90s I took a class called Creative Writing in Fiction at a nearby university. One of the things I walked away with was that if you truly wanted to write, if it’s what you felt you were called to do, you had to trust your gut. Sometimes relying on critiques and such can stifle you—but that’s something each individual has to decide.

Wow.  Trust my gut.  I so need to do that.  [Yes, Jan, I know you said it the other day, too!] Additional confirmation from those you love – and who love you – and trust is always awesome, but sometimes you just gotta go with your gut.  Like Gibbs.

In all seriousness, that’s making light of the ‘gut’ thing.  It’s also that still, small voice.  It’s the voice that told me to pack everything in the van two hours before my water broke with Emily [Matt thought I was nuts].  It’s the voice that told me when the pregnancy tests would be positive – and when they’d be negative when the docs were trying to decide if Em was going to stick around.  It’s the voice that told me to put myself on virtual bedrest when I was pregnant with Christopher, because even though his due date was Aug. 24, he was going to be a July baby [July 25 to be exact].  It’s the voice that told me surgery at 4mos was the right thing to do for him.  It’s the voice that told me to have the ambulance come to the surgery center and take him to the hospital after his tonsils/adenoids last month.  I didn’t listen then and he ended up turning blue at home.  Twice.  And then got the ambulance ride anyway.

So it’s that still, small voice that’s telling me I can do this.  I have talent.  It may need work, but I am good enough.

How ironic that the post that was going to be just ‘musings about when to ignore critiques’ comes the same day I win a critique from an agent?

Or maybe it’s just a God thing.

So – time to trust my gut and get those pages to Nathan.


  • Penny

    Amen…and a deep, deep breath = )

  • It’s moments like these that let us know that God is always with us and that he is aware of what’s going on in our heads, our hearts and our minds. He drops little nuggets into our lives to say, “I’m at work, even if you don’t see the evidence of it on a daily basis.”

    Writing is just like any other art – if you want to be good, you have to practice, learn from your mistakes and never, never, ever give up. Some people are gifted in the area of writing, but there are no “born writers”. Even those gifted in the art of story-telling have to learn how to most effectively tell those stories on paper.

    Keep going, Carol – you are learning to be a good writer and God is with you every step of the way.