Today just might go down as the highlight of my writing career to-date. It could be the start of something big.

Today, I was one of the lucky 125 entrants selected to submit to the Knight Agency’s Author Speed Date contest. You should have heard the excited whoop I let out when I saw my name on that list. (Everyone in the newsroom sure did. A few people even came over to my desk to see if I was OK.)

Panic quickly supplanted the initial excitement: Which of my novels do I send them? (I have so darn many to pick from — six completed MSs in all.) After some thought, I chose the one with the proven track record, my Beacon finalist, “Beauty and the Ballplayer.”

When I received word a few hours later that “Beauty and the Ballplayer” did not final in the Write Stuff contest, I second-guessed my decision. Big time. Lucky for me, I hadn’t had a chance to ship off my entry yet.)

The score sheets sat in my Gmail inbox, waiting for me to decide: Do I read them now, before I send my entry to the Knight Agency, so I can try to “fix” it?

A coworker convinced me to go ahead and look. “If they make any suggestions for the first three pages, use them if you think they have merit.”

So I took a peek. I couldn’t believe my eyes: Two perfect scores! The last judge gave me a 66 of 100, though. (Hope I didn’t get that judge for the Golden Heart. 😉  ) None of them wanted to make substantial alterations to pages 1-3.

I literally just shipped off my entry (the first three pages). Now, I wait … just like I’m waiting for the Golden Heart calls. The Speed Date results will come back faster, though. I’ll know by Thursday if I advance to the next round. (Just 25 of 125 will be so lucky.)

Guess I’m an overachiever: I hit my NaNo goal tonight.

The story’s not quite finished, though. I probably have another 5K to write. For a few moments, however, I’m going to revel in the accomplishment.

That’s it for now. After writing a couple thousand words  today, I’m fresh out. I’ll leave you with this sight worth  celebrating:

No, I didn’t win the Golden Heart … Technically, I haven’t even submitted yet, although my check is in the mail to reserve my spot.

It really does say my name!

It really does say my name!

I did, however, win a critique of the first 15 pages of my entry from the gals over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. (They’re the 2009 GH finalists.) That’s a photo of the Web page, blurry as it is. Trust me, it’s my name there under “Day 2 Winner.”

That’s right: I’m finally the lucky one. (I rarely win anything. When I go to the casino, the Boyfriend wins a pile of cash and I lose as much as he wins …) I was so excited to see my name listed as the winner.

Then reality set in and I started thinking, “What if she says it sucks?” I don’t have time to completely revamp the thing before the contest deadline.

I’ve been assured that we all have those moments of doubt where we think we suck (thanks, Anne Marie!). And it is better to get some feedback now, when there’s still time to improve the entry. By this time tomorrow, those first 15 pages will be in my critiquer’s capable hands.

I can’t wait to get some feedback.