On Friday, November 2nd, I received the phone call I've dreamed of for a very long time. Joni Labaqui from the Writers of the Future contest, telling me that I am a finalist in the 3rd quarter of Volume 29.
I'd like to say that I was calm and collected. The truth was, sadly, much different. I believe my first words were, "You're kidding, right?" I wonder what percentage of finalists ask that very same question. My guess would be that it's quite high. I mean, truly, how often does a hoped for dream become a reality?
Once I was assured that she was not kidding, my mind had gone into full-on short circuit. When asked, "Where did you hear about the contest?" my answer was, "I don't know!" Then I babbled on for a bit about spending a lot of time on the contest forums (which are filled with welcoming, creative, awesome writers,) and eventually I decided that I'd always known about the contest. This is patently not true, given that the contest began in the early 1980's and I was born...somewhat earlier than that. Still, I honestly do not remember when I learned about it, and I do remember being aware of the anthologies a long, long, time ago.
Will I win? No idea. Right now I'm just so thrilled to have been selected as as finalist that I'm not even letting myself think that far ahead.
In the meantime, I will await my next phone call with anxious anticipation. I do hope that, win or not, I manage to hold an intelligent conversation without the interference of a few overwhelmed tears.
I'll know soon enough. For now, I'm going to hold onto this feeling, and catalog it for future use, if I ever have a character learn their dreams may be coming true.