Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day #8908 - And Then it Began

It started with reading something on Twitter, which led to a blog post, which resulted in writing my first ever piece of fan fiction. And then just a few weeks later, it led to something that has felt so impossible for so long suddenly becoming very real.

So let me back up. On December 4th, YA author Lisa Burstein tweeted that she was sponsoring a contest in honor of her upcoming novel, Dear Cassie. I went over to her website, read more about it, and spent the month toying around with a few ideas and the prompt. Then finally on the very last day submissions could be sent in, the last day of the year, I threw a Hail Mary and emailed in my submission because, hey, what's the worst that could happen? Rejection? I've been a resident of Queryland for a while now, so I'm so used to that.

On January 7th, I found out my entry, a diary entry from the perspective of Doctor Who's Amy Pond, was a finalist. Voting would take place for a few days, and the finalist that got the most votes would get their story printed in the final copy of Dear Cassie.

And yesterday as I was about to shut down my computer at work and head home for a relaxing weekend, I decided to check my email one more time. And then it began. "Monica, Congratulations you won!"

To say I'm excited puts it mildly. This is what it feels like when something you dreamed of happening finally starts to unfold a little bit. I understand that it's one 750-word piece of fan fiction, but in just 52 days, I'll be able to walk into a bookstore, pick up a copy of Lisa's novel, flip to the back and see the words "By Monica Fumarolo" staring back at me. And that's nothing short of a miracle to me.

So I must of course thank my family and friends who have always stood by me. And there are the many people who took the time to vote for me, too - this wouldn't have happened if not for you. March 5th is the currently posted release date for  Dear Cassie and I cannot wait!

And since I'm also such a music nerd, you should know this is the song playing in my head since I got the news =)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day #8897 - 13 Things to Start 2013

Hey hey, Internet! in the spirit of being totally cliche and jumping on the bandwagon, now is probably a good time to look back at 2012 and what lies ahead in 2013 for me.

1. Over all, I would say that 2012 was a year that was on par. There weren't an overwhelming number peaks and valleys, which I guess is a good thing. Not to say it was perfect, but I survived which is actually saying a lot.
2. I am proud of myself that 2012 saw me finally gaining the courage to send out queries and search for a literary agent willing to represent me. No luck so far in gaining said representation, but the idea of sending that email and what the reply may be is no longer something I find terrifying. Well, less terrifying, anyway.
3. I'm still writing, and again I think that's something that requires a certain amount of courage. I have very little control over if my stories make it out into the world or not, if my manuscripts will ever become published novels that make their way to your local library or bookstore - all I can do is keep writing and sending them out, the rest is out of my hands.
4. I finished grad school. Are master's degrees more common now than in the past? Perhaps. But for two years I worked so hard on something I'm passionate about, and the experiences I had in learning how to become a librarian were some of the best of my life. I fell in love with learning all over again.
5. So there weren't a whole lot of lows, but in a lot of ways 2012 was challenging in ways that oftentimes, I had no idea how I was going to come out on the other side with my sanity intact. And sometimes, it wasn't, and I learned that that was okay, too. I have my friends and family to thank for that.
6. According to Goodreads, I read 69 books last year and I know the number is actually higher because it doesn't take into account the books I re-read nor the ones I was too embarrassed to post online. It was such a joy to get to experience so many stories, and as always, it comes back to learning. Constant reading is a vital contributor to my education in how to become a writer.
7. While most of these points are about reading and writing and books, I was so happy to discover in 2012 that I'm capable of a wider range. YouTube and making videos managed to become a part of my life that I absolutely love and find an incredible amount of joy in. Sure many of those videos are also book related, but my other 'resolution' for the year is to break out into other topics and share. I love being a new BookTuber, but I want to remind myself and the world that I'm complex, and I want the things I create - be it stories, videos, art, whatever - to reflect that, too.
8. I have high hopes for 2013. I want it to be the year of doing more. Traveling would be great, but just being active. Busting out of the comfort of my home, defying every introverted and shy instinct that consumes me and just try.
9. Not going to lie, now that I'm trying to come up with 13 things, I'm struggling. So here's to struggling and those struggles making us interesting (to borrow from my favorite middle grade novel, Bloomability by Sharon Creech).
10. I already know that 2013 will bring about a few big changes to my life and the lives of my loved ones. My big brother is getting married this year, and several of my friends are tying the knot with their significant others as well. And I couldn't be more excited for them.
11. My life-long journey to be accepting of who I am continues. Whether that means the things I choose to pursue, voicing my opinions about the things I like and dislike, and just being honest with myself. It's something that ought to go without saying, but reminding myself never hurts.
12. Oh crap, this list still isn't over yet?...errr....
13. I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Okay, so that was a longer post but there it is. So here's to 2013, eh? Let's stay positive and may good things come your way!