'I'm going to win it!' I declared it emphatically.
My companions looked a little stunned, and I could understand their reaction. But the moment I heard about it, I wanted it. Money wouldn't buy it. It wasn't available through people I knew. The winner wasn't to be drawn out of a hat. It was The Caleb award for best unpublished manuscript and to win my book had to be...well...the best!
Everyone in the room knew I'd never written a book before and the one I was working on was sadly lacking.
But I had two advantages. The story I'd written was unique and powerful. The people with me were mentors who were teaching me how to write. Added the third ingredient, I spoke out my intent, I claimed my destiny at that time.
Then I worked hard. I had to rewrite that book. Only about five percent of my previous work survived the process. I sourced help anyway I could get it. I asked selected readers for feedback. Then I worked it and reworked it. Edited and edited it again. Towards the end of June I printed, packed and posted it, feeling like a mother who was sending her baby to the examination board.
Last Friday evening, five months later, I sat at a round table surrounded by friends.Waiting. How did my baby do? I had been relieved when my book was included in the 'short list', and excited when named as a finalist. But I was hungry for the win. I had declared it against all odds.
Never before had I waited for an announcement like this. To my surprise I found the nerves in my stomach doing back flips.
'And the winner is 'Though the Bud be Bruised'!'
I'd won. Awesome! Just awesome!
The next day, at the Word Writers Fair, someone told me I was now an award-winning author!
I'm still struggling with that concept. My logical brain insists upon it! My heart tells another story. I'm just Jo who won an award. I'm still struggling to accept the possibility that I'm a real author, but an award-winning author?
It is the old struggle with identity. God tells us we are his beloved children. We accept His love, but do we really believe we are His kids, that we have the authority, power and responsibility that comes with being the family of the Kings of Kings?
So what will I believe? Who will I be? I've made a decision.
I will be an award-winning author and to prove it, I sold my first two books this week. I'll post then as soon as they are printed!
Meanwhile this award-winning authors has lots of work to do. The book needs adjusting, editing, refining. This time next year it will be in print, the best it possibly can be.