The Thing is Happening…

Back in December, my mom sent me a Facebook link to a writing competition.  It looked like a good competition to enter- all the rights to whatever story I wrote would be given to me, I would be given a copy of the anthology and the top 20 would receive publication and some kind of cash prize.  The problem was, I only had a week to write said story.

So, I gave it my best shot, but didn’t expect much because I only had one week.  Ordinarily I am fairly obsessive in my revisions.  This gave me about three days to revise a little over 4,000 words.  Not horrible, but ordinarily I would take a couple of weeks.  I sent it off anyway.

Imagine my surprise and joy when I got the email in March that said that I was a finalist!  That’s the top 5% of entrants (several thousand, according to the e-mail).  I was happy with that because it felt like a very rushed process for me.  Then a couple weeks later I got an e-mail telling me that I made it into the anthology.  I was in the top 20!  Joy, elation and real panic ensued.

“Panic?” you ask.  “Why panic?”

I know it doesn’t make sense.  However, I have been dreaming of being published- of seeing S.A. Rohrbaugh in print for so long (kindergarten)- that it became a very comfortable dream to have and felt very unlikely to happen.  I was happy writing my stories at home and sending them off to receive rejection letters.  I was thrilled with the rejection letter I received from DAW.  It made me feel like I was doing things, that I had survived my first association with the publishing industry.  Every author gets rejected at least once.

Don’t get me wrong, I was completely determined to be published- I wasn’t going to give up, but I envisioned it happening years later.  So, to receive this e-mail from the Neoverse competition gave me two distinct personalities:  “Yay!  Kindergarten dreams come true!” and “The thing is happening!  What do I do now?!”

This website was a big part of the “What do I do now?”  It would appear that most successful authors have a blog or something akin to it.  I had no idea until the contest expected me to have one.  So, I bought my domain name and found Word Press.  Voila!  This tiny corner of the internet was born.

Pretty quickly, they sent me a contract to sign.  I have never been more excited to receive a piece of paper, diploma included.  My poor family was inundated with pictures.  I appreciate their patience as I get way too excited about all of this.  Actually, I would go so far as to say that I felt it might have been my imagination, some awesome fever-dream, until I got that contract.

However, the contract is just the beginning to a whole process.   I set up a separate e-mail for author things.  I was supposed to assign it somehow to the domain, but I would have had to pay for things I just can’t afford right now.  So, I just set up a separate g-mail account.  That may change in the future, but for now I am making do.  Then, they asked for an author bio and a picture…and suddenly, there were sleepless nights.

I feel a need to explain that I despise pictures of myself.  It’s an unhealthy level of loathing and I wish I didn’t, but there it is.  Well, I finally did it!  I took that author picture and sent it in (I put it on the website too to make myself feel more official).

I will get another crack at revision within the next few weeks and then the thing will happen.  Respect the thing.  As a matter of fact, you can pre-order the anthology on Amazon.  That blew me away.  My name on an actual website, for sale.  Here is the link: Neoverse December 2015 Anthology  If you click on the more, that’s where you see my name.  Very exciting.

When it comes out maybe I will talk about the story, but I thought it was appropriate to talk about the process for this thing because it has been much easier than I anticipated and a lot of fun (the author photo aside).

So, that’s the thing.  My thing…and it is happening!


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