So I found out yesterday I didn’t make it to the second round of the Amazon/Create Space contest with The Sparrow’s Choice. Disappointing but not all that surprising. With 10,000 entrants in five categories, that means in the fiction category I was competing with 2000 other entries. At times like this one comforts oneself with thoughts like “their loss” or “there are better things waiting,” or “my turn will come.” Silly platitudes all.
Remember the game Chinese checkers? We played that a lot when we were little kids, an old fashioned board game with marbles set in little pockmarks. It’s a simple game, a fun game that doesn’t require much strategy. The intent is to get your marbles gathered up in a triangular space across the board before anyone else. You can play it offensively or defensively, depending on your mood. It’s not like chess where you have to attack someone to get where you’re going. No one has to be thrown off the board as you focus on your goal. It’s just a few hops, skips, and jumps, a little dodging here and there. There’s a real pleasure in jumping over a few obstacles, suffering a few setbacks or sidesteps and then moving forward again, none the worse for wear. We all know side trips can be kinda fun anyway. 🙂
Nice analogy, but life is not that simple. More often than not something jostles the board and sends marbles flying. Most of the world prefers chess. It knocks you up the side of the head, purposely trips you from the back, and enjoys seeing you with your face in the dirt, hoping to remove you from the game completely. That spot on the distant horizon can seem pretty unattainable. Of course, not moving up to the next level of this contest is not like being a pawn that’s been removed from the game. My marbles are still lined up nicely and I’m moving across the board. A query letter is about to be mailed to my future agent and a couple of awards are looking for applicants. As they say, good things come to those who wait. 😉