About 11 years ago, a hopeful teenager bought a red sign that said “Future Award-Winning Author At Work.”
She hung it on the doorknob of her cave during writing sessions. It motivated her, kept her optimistic. (It also warned the family not to disturb her unless the house was burning down.) She wondered if someday she’d be able to cross out the word “Future.” As she prepared to release her first novel about a year ago, she even blogged about that dream.
Well, yesterday it came true.
At about 11 AM, I received The Call, informing me that The Illuminator’s Gift had won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards! I entered this award back in July and was just coming to the conclusion that nothing was going to come of it (as many of my contest entries have over the years). But some dreams do come true, even on Tuesdays!
Among 1,300 international, independently published entries, The Illuminator’s Gift was second place in the Best First Book (Chapter Book) category! The full listing of contest winners is here (TIG is in category #38)! I’m over the moon (no pun intended) with excitement. Writing books, while full of passion and purpose, can be a long and lonely road, and validation from the outside is a welcome exhortation not to give up. Especially since there’s a lot left to do on Book #2 before its December release…
After a dizzy day of trying to work in spite of sheer euphoria, texting friends, and celebrating with family, perhaps the sweetest moment was when I took my gold sharpie and did something I’ve dreamed of doing for a very long time. I crossed out a word on my red sign.
I’d like to send this photo back in time to my shy, geeky high school self, the girl with the pimples and the big vocabulary, who wondered so often if her dreams would ever become reality.
Hang in there, girl. Believe in the gift you’ve been given. Someday the future will be the now.