If RWA were a contact sport, making the finals of the Golden Heart Contest would be like making it to the playoffs.
On March 25th, I find out whether or not I made it to the playoffs.
Part of me, the very cynical part of me, is absolutely positive that I will. But that's got nothing to do with the writing.
My youngest is expecting her first child—and my first grandchild—right smack dab in the middle of the big RWA conference in July. Which means this will be the first RWA conference in six years that I'm going to miss. And since that's where they announce the Golden Heart awards, I'm virtually guaranteed to win. If you follow my logic.
Of course, the less cynical, and far less confident part of me, has no idea what my chances are of making the finals.
But I do know this: I'm in the game.
I finished writing the book and I entered it in the contest.
I showed up. I suited up. And I got in the game.
Now, this isn't my first time entering the Golden Heart. In fact, it's my fourth time. But it's the first time I feel competitive about it. It's the first time I really, truly feel like "I left it all on the field." Because this book is my best work yet.
And I want to win.
I want it bad.
Maybe I'm not supposed to say that out loud. As one of the Rockville 8 said recently, you're supposed to play it cool. You're not supposed to look like you care. But I don't understand that. There's no shame in losing, just heartbreak. And if I don't get a call on the 25th, I'm telling you now, my heart will break.
Luckily, I'm not the only GH contestant in the Rockville 8. There are five of us, in five different categories. And whether we win or lose, we'll be meeting the night of the 25th to celebrate.
Because writing is our dream.
And we got in the game.
As far as I'm concerned, that makes all of us winners.
Can't lose . . .
(Images from the television series, Friday Night Lights)