A Golden Rose

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

                  ~Eleanor Roosevelt


I stopped by and checked out Melia Alexander’s wonderful blog today. She was hosting a friend and fellow author, Jessa Slade.  The subject was something near and dear to my own heart, The Golden Rose Contest.

GR2013 Banner for NOR

Not only is this contest sponsored by my home chapter, Rose City Romance Writers, but it is one of the first contests I ever entered.  If you have ever wondered if a contest is worth it then let me tell you my personal experience with this one.

Every time the contest was mentioned in our chapter meetings my heart would race. I had been waffling on whether I should take the plunge and enter my recently finished manuscript .  I knew first-hand the quality and talent of the judges and the kind of thoughtful and insightful feedback I would receive. I also knew I would get an honest evaluation of my work.  There’s the rub.  Was I truly ready to hear any criticism of my baby? Even if the feedback was right on the mark? What if they hated it?  What if I really couldn’t write a decent story?

I think there comes a time in every writer’s journey where we take a leap of faith and do something that scares the you-know-what out of us.  This was it for me.  I filled out the submission form, took a deep breath and hit send.  And promptly freaked out!

Yes, we writers can be a neurotic lot 🙂

I am not kidding when I tell you waiting for the results can be a tad stressful.  I did a lot of mental gymnastics talking to myself.  No matter what, I declared, I would look at the feedback, consider it without emotion and then go back to work on it.  Ha!  Writing is all about emotion, we plumb the heights and depths every time we sit in front of our computer and put words on the page.  So don’t kid yourself and think you won’t react strongly when your results come in.  Just remember to breathe and give yourself permission to think about what comments were given.  You will survive, I promise.  More importantly you will have more of an idea on how to improve your work.

When I got the call telling me my manuscript was a finalist I was so surprised I wondered if there was a mistake.  Truthfully, I don’t think I quite believed it until I got the scores back from the judges.  Even as a finalist there was a lot work still to do on my manuscript.  Weaknesses were pointed out through excellent feedback, along with areas I did well.    I had a little time to look over the comments, make any changes I wanted and then the manuscript would be submitted to the final judges.

I didn’t win the ultimate prize – The Golden Rose, but I took first place in my category.  The final judge said some lovely things about my chapters and I thought maybe, just maybe, I might be a real, honest-to-goodness writer!

The real prize in all of this – I had judges looking at my work and giving me the benefit of their experience as writers.  I got feedback that helped me strengthen my story, a cross section of opinions that gave me a broader view of what another might see in my work and the knowledge that leaping off a cliff is not without risk, but the reward can be, well…the courage to take another step toward publication.

There are a lot of contest out there.  Do a little research, find one that meets your needs and give it a shot.  Take that leap.  What have you got to lose?

Sunny Sunday and an Award – Woot!


When I opened my email last week and saw that the wonderful Melia Alexander had nominated my brand new blog for the Sunshine Award I was gobsmacked! I sat at my computer and grinned like a loon.  Really, I did. I can’t thank her enough for her generosity in bestowing this award on my newbie blog.

What is the Sunshine Award you ask? Well, lean a little closer and I will tell you… It is a bright and sunny flower that bloggers give to other “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”  Cool, huh?

As with most things, there are some rules.  Easy-peasy ones….

  • In your blog post, thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Do the Q & A
  • Pass the award to 10-12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them, and link to their blogs.

So, without further ado, I will attempt to answer the questions.  I know you are waiting with bated breath, right? 

Favorite Color: This is a total no-brainer…green.  If you walked into my house right now you would immediately notice that color everywhere.  My daughter will tell anyone who will listen she lives in a leaf.  Works for me 🙂

Favorite Animal:  I have to go for the “aww” and say it’s my big orange tabby, Yogi.  He likes to help me type, although he can’t spell worth a damn.  He thinks my computer is just the place to take a nap or to stare at me until I give him some attention.  If he rev’s up his purr, I am a total gonner.

Favorite Number: I never really thought about it.  Do people usually have a favorite number?  Why?  Does it give you magical abilities?  If so, sign me up!  We all could use a little magic in our lives.

Favorite Non-alcoholic Drink:  Iced tea.  Okay, my British mother will be shuddering right about now and I can hear her threatening to disown me.  I appreciate a lovely cup of English tea in a proper china cup, but on a hot, sunny afternoon there is nothing better than an icy cold glass of iced tea.  Sorry, Mum.

Facebook or Twitter:  Twitter.  Not that I am any good at pithy or insightful tweets in 140 characters or less.  I have to confess, Facebook baffles me.  It could be that I never took the time to figure it out, but there you have it.

Your Passion: Is it possible to have just one?  I will spare all of your blushes (okay, my blushes) and merrily skip to the next question.  Oh, wait…you didn’t mean that passion.  My bad.

Giving or getting presents:  Both.  Giving a present satisfies a visceral need to please another person and makes me happy.  Receiving a present is a bit like drinking sparkling wine, all bubbly and exciting.  It’s a win-win. 

 Favorite Day: Hmmm.  This is a tough one.  Today ranks right up there as a favorite day, but then I have tomorrow to look forward to and it could be even better.  Let’s not even consider the possibilities for the day after that.  See my dilemma?

Favorite Flowers:  Daffodils.  I love that bright yellow and jaunty flower.  It makes me smile.  What more could you ask of a flower?

 So, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed my answers as much as I enjoyed sharing that bit of myself. 

But, wait…the fun is not over yet.  Here is where I get to pass the award on to other wonderful writers.  I have visited their blogs and enjoyed each and every one of them.  Check them out.  I know you will be glad you did.








I realize I bent the rules a little and only mentioned seven blogs, but I am new to this and I am still discovering all the wonderful bloggers out there.  I am sure you can identify other worthy blogs that should be on this list..so show a little love and pay them a visit today.  Don’t forget to leave a comment, because we all want to hear what you have to say!

Have a fabulous sunshiny day! 🙂