Google+ Followers

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Chance of a Lifetime

I have a few busy weeks ahead of me. I have a manuscript to finish!

Yesterday evening, November 12th, I attended a NaNoWriMo write-in session hosted by book publisher, Simon & Schuster at the Indigo bookstore at the Toronto Eaton Centre. It was amazing to be writing mere feet away from books, some of which have been written by fellow Wrimos. (Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell are two of them.) Fifty of us were sitting in the Starbucks within the bookstore for this write-in. I did not get a whole not written, as I was fulfilling some of my mod duties (I am an event and chatroom moderator for the Toronto region this year), but I had a great time.

As part of the festivities, Simon & Schuster provided us with free coffee and baked goods, and gave us all a chance to win an opportunity to have the first 50,000 words of our manuscripts read by one of their editors. At 11:30pm, I was fulfilling my mod duties when they got our attention, and drew the winner.

"Jen Flynn!"

It took several seconds for me to realize that the name they had drawn was mine. When the realization struck, shock came with it, and I really wasn't sure what it all meant other than, I now had a manuscript to finish. I now have a manuscript to finish! And I know exactly what it is going to be. Four others also won free books courtesy of Indigo and Simon & Schuster.

I have been working on a trilogy for going on six years, and it has been a labour of love. I've had to climb a few walls, and scramble out of a few pits, but I have stuck by it. It even underwent a rewrite ten chapters in because things, namely characters, changed. It began as such a tiny, insignificant idea that, over a month of tending and planning, began to grow and become something much bigger than itself. It became bigger than me. It became my baby. It is a project I've been itching to finish, but now, I have the motivation to actually put my time and energy into it full time. And it deserves every second and every ounce of my time and energy; it always has. (Thank goodness I am almost 100,000 words into it!)

I do not know what will become of this future meeting with Simon & Schuster, but I am a cauldron of emotions. I am happy, I am anxious, I am thrilled, I am terrified. My head is a whirlwind of thoughts, and of wishes and dreams. As it's sinking in, I am realizing just how much work I have ahead of me, and just how important this trilogy is to me. And not just the trilogy, but the people who have stood behind me and beside me during this venture. They are just as important as the trilogy is, if not more so. I am very so grateful to my good friend, Robin, who told me about a conversation he'd had with his mom. Thank you, Sheila, for having that conversation with your son! Shannon, author of the blog, The Creation of Beauty is Art, for allowing me to take her along on this trip, and for being there to read each chapter as I complete them. To everyone in the Toronto NaNoWriMo (ToNaNo) community who has encouraged me, picked me up when I've fallen, knocked me down a peg or two when needed, and just simply been there along the journey: Thank you! You are very much a part of my extended family, and you are a huge part of the reason this trilogy is still being written. To anyone who has ever read this blog, I thank you, too! Your support means a tremendous amount.

I shall keep you up to date with my editing progress, and what happens when the first bit of the manuscript is read!