I keep an eye out for online writing contests and submission calls. Occasionally, one will catch my eye or spark something in my brain. When I saw the call for stories for Creative Prose Publishing's "First Lines" contest, I printed it out and added it to my pile of things to consider. Funny thing is, I kept going back to it as if it was calling me. One evening while I waited for my daughter's dance class to end, I pulled out the paper and looked over the lines listed for the competition. Which one would I choose?
Ironically, I first chose one particular line and had started writing one story, but then things changed. A remark at my critique group meeting about something I had read to the group remained with me days after. I opened that file, grabbed the contest sheet, looked over the first lines again (for like the twentieth? thirtieth time?) and something clicked. I felt the fire. Not a spark this time, a flame. I had found the line. I had found the story. And I began to write.
Some days I simply love writing. When the words flow with the ease of running water and my muse sits beside me, a playlist I've created inspires me even more, and I can practically feel the magic happening. It was one of those days. I finished in a couple of days, let it sit a few more, opened the file again, read it out loud to my daughter, and edited. I felt different about this work. Excited. Motivated. I sent it off. I knew this was the prequel to a novel. There was more to tell. A lot more.
Then, something marvelous happened. I won! Thank you to Creative Prose Publishing and I congratulate the other winners as well. Read about the winners and contest here. I will post more information as soon as I hear about it.