Maggie Wells | Margaret Ethridge

Contemporary Romance Authors

Monday Mayhem: Springing Eternal

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 by Margaret Ethridge   7 Comments | Posted in Blog

Today is the day the Romance Writers of America announce the RITA/Golden Heart contest finalists. For those of you who don’t know, the RITAs are for published authors, and Golden Heart entries are unpublished. There are many prestigious and esteemed awards in the romance community, but these two would be the equivalent of the Oscar/Emmy/Tony awards.

Last fall, the staff at Turquoise Morning Press voted to put two of their 2011 titles up for consideration for RITA awards and they chose Grace Greene’s Beach Rental (Best Inspirational Romance & Best First Book categories) and my Contentment (Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category) as TMP’s official submissions.

I couldn’t believe they picked one of my books from all of the titles they published in 2011. I might have had a total Sally Field moment. Maybe. There’s no video, so there’s no proof. As you can imagine, RITA and GH submissions are huge. The chances of being chosen as a finalist are super-slim – particularly for a small press author. But even as I filled out the entry form, I will admit that I was picturing myself as that camel passing through the eye of a needle. Without the hump. And the overbite. And the spitting thing…

I’m realistic enough to know my phone will probably not ring this morning. I’m not just saying that to be self-deprecating. Those of me who know me well know I have a ginormous ego. Huge. At times, monstrous. But I will say it’s also pretty well grounded in reality.

I love my baby, but I’m not so blind that I can’t see its flaws. But still…Maybe….

And there it goes again – springing eternal and all that jazz. I can’t help myself. I came equipped with this tiny little flame, flickering and sputtering deep inside of me. Standard equipment on this model, I guess. It won’t ever be extinguished, not even after the name of the last of the 2012 RITA finalists is posted on the RWA website.

Being an author is all about having hope.

We hope the story idea rattling around in our head is as good as we think it might be.

We hope we’ve chosen the right words to paint a picture, tell the tale, and spin a web so sticky you’ll never want to put the book down.

We hope it touches someone somehow.

Hope is the key ingredient that makes each and every romance (real or fictional) a possibility. It spurs us to press ‘send’ on that agent or editor pitch. Hope keeps us clicking the refresh button multiple times a day. Each time I open a new document, I’m filled with hope, expectation, and the tiny trickle of trepidation that accompanies any risk worth taking.

And if that phone call never comes, that’s okay. There’s always next year, right?

Spoken like a true Cubs fan.

Happy Monday, my friends. What are your hopes for the day, week, month, or year?

ETA: Just wanted to thank you all for your support. Contentment wasn’t chosen as a finalist, but I will have three (!) 2012 releases to choose from when it comes time to submit again. Thanks so much. You all are the best!

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7 Responses to "Monday Mayhem: Springing Eternal"

  1. Comment by MichelleKCanada (@AnotherLookBook)
    March 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm  

    Oh everything is crossed hoping that they choose your wonderful book. It would rock to have a small press book get recognized too. Best of luck to you!

  2. Comment by Julie
    March 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm  

    Well, you know how I feel about phone calls. 😉 No matter what they decide, Contentment is a winner in my heart. I’m so proud of you for being selected, and I know that if it’s not in the cards this year, it won’t be long before you can have another Sally Field moment (and it will be recorded this time, damn it). I’m always cheering you on, baby! 🙂

    In about a week’s time I’ll be hearing back from all the teachers colleges I applied to in December. I really hope that they all like me; REALLY like me! 😀

  3. Comment by Laurie
    March 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm  

    I say you can never experience the win if you never enter the race. Regardless, your book has touched people. Well done.

  4. Comment by Pink
    March 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm  

    That is so exciting that out of all of their books they chose yours, so as far as I’m concerned that’s a win already! Not to mention that I’ve read Contentment and it’s just full of win! Congratulations!

  5. Comment by Michele
    March 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm  

    That is so awesome that TMP chose your book to be entered! You’re an amazing writer that wrote this fantastic book, and in my very humble opinion, you deserve to win!

  6. Comment by Christine
    March 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm  

    Congrats on your entry, that’s a win just in itself!

    I know more amazing things are just around the corner for you 🙂

  7. Comment by Carol
    March 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm  

    I hope you know how proud I am of you. What an honor. I mean, you’re just starting out, and already look at the accolades pouring in. This is just the beginning, you know!

    Now that I’ve praised you, I’m going to channel Emily Gilmore’s “a compliment for my cook is a compliment for me” theory. See, I figure that this acknowledgement of your talent just proves how smart the rest of us are — We knew what a phenomenal writer you were years ago!

    Now I’m just gonna sit here (cluck, cluck, cluck) and wait for Spring Chickens to hatch…

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