A Chance to Bloom

The trees are finally starting to blossom in my back yard. The few that are left anyway. I’ve got three I need to take down now, because the weight of that last big snow actually uprooted them and they are just slowly dying.

Still, the ones that are here and perking up are very pretty, even in the rainy and windy mess we had yesterday. I’m rather fond of the image of flower petals blowing around. Quaint and poetic and all that crap.

Yesterday was also the RWA’s announcement of the Golden Heart finalists. Clearly, I didn’t make it, though I’m kind of itching to see my scores. I don’t usually do too well with the more “traditional” romance contests, so it will be interesting to see just how far off the mark I was. And yes, I can be this glib about it because it doesn’t really matter to me at this point.  And why would it? I’ve got the golden ticket after all.

But so what? The point is, I’ve also got a lot of friends who were also in that contest who didn’t final, and I wish they had – plenty of them have paid their dues, and have been working towards the publication goal longer than I have. I want all of them to succeed.

But the GH, like all contests, is completely subjective – you are judged by one’s peers, some pubbed, some not, using a checklist of 9 points. It’s a bit of a crapshoot, really. And it’s not a guarantee. I know several GH finalists who still are not pubbed, even after everything. And some are habitual winners or finalists – and a long list of contest wins is very pretty sometimes. But really, which do *you* want? A contest win or a contract?

I did take a look at the finalist names and I checked out their websites to see who they were, at least for the paranormal section. Some of them I couldn’t find, which is a shame, but sadly enough, one of the finalists – Donnell Epperson, actually passed away in February from breast cancer.

I found her blog and her twitter page, and it’s rather heartbreaking. Her last post was back in November and there was so much hope there for her GH entry, despite the new round of treatment she was about to undergo.

And what can you take away from this? That life is a fickle sort of bitch? I suppose I could connect the obvious to the picture up there, and my reference to the dying trees. You can pretend the snow is a big metaphor for the trials of life, and wonder if you’ll buckle beneath the pressure or throw it off and blossom despite it.

But what if you do both?

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3 Responses to A Chance to Bloom

  1. Danielle says:

    Great post, Allison! Very thought-provoking and powerful!

  2. Donna Hole says:

    Thats so nice of you to mention Donnell.  I gave up submitting to contests a long time ago.  They are "fickle" things to me. 

    Good luck with your trees.

    ……dhole

  3. mynfel says:

    Yeah, I'm not always sure contests are a good judge of a story, but they can be helpful in some ways.

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