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  • Jennifer Z. Major

Updated!! Contests, waiting, Youtube, and crying jags.

Scroll to the bottom for the UPDATE!!

So, this happened today...

Actually, late last night, but I didn't see the email until 7am...

Congratulations, Jennifer!

You are one of ten WINNERS in the Mount Hermon Writers Conference First-Timers Contest. We are excited to offer you a full scholarship to the 2018 conference, including registration, meals, and economy lodging (double occupancy) for the main conference March 23–27, 2018.

Excuse me while I totally lose my cool and ugly cry before I've even gotten out of bed.

Okay, let's backtrack to the late Fall, and start from there.

Actually, sooner.

I'll say this, part of 2017 was great, the rest? Not so much.

Heavy on the not.

Although, I did get to learn just how much morphine is enough for post-surgery recovery.

Woo-hoo, eh? Add that to my resume.

Okay, on with the story.

Or maybe I'll cut to the chase...this year has been a slog with my writing and I felt like a warrior wielding a sword that progressively got heavier and heavier, and heavier and heavier.

And heavier.

Yes, I kept writing, because I can't not write.

It was stuff other than the writing that was weighing me down.

So much WAITING.

That is a hard thing, my friends.

Since my Navajo work hadn't yet met a publishing home, and I got dared to do it, I tried a new genre, contemporary romantic comedy.

I enjoy it, and I think I do okay at it. But, it wasn't my heart's calling.

But, I'm a storyteller, I tell stories. So I should tell them, right?

Then I started thinking about attending another conference, and hit the brakes because those take finances that we don't have. And considering that the Canadian dollar isn't at par with the US dollar, any American conference is going to cost me 20% more. So yeah.

Now, yesterday, I had to get a few groceries. AND I was out of hair mousse. Catastrophic, if you ask me. Anyway, just as I pulled into a fairly decent parking spot at Costco, a song came on the radio. A song I'd never heard before...

It slammed me hard.

But, after a few minutes of listening and pondering, I still had stuff to do...

But here's the thing, the Mount Hermon conference, of which I'd heard glowing reports for years, had a "First Timers" writing contest. There were 10 prizes, and each was a full scholarship to the conference. I thought about it, prayed about it, and entered.

The entry deadline was December 30th. Winners would be notified by January 15th.

Yes, I've been checking my email every 27 seconds for about a week.

Now, there's a 4 hour time difference between here and California, so when I went to bed last night, I had two things floating through my head.

1) Nobody sends anything Sunday night.

2) Go to bed, and stop checking your phone!!

I shut out my light at 11:51pm.

The email was time stamped at 12:08am.

In truth, I'd schooled myself that I wouldn't win, because I've entered other contests, and come up with "thank you for entering...".

And? Things that I thought would happen, didn't, and it's tiring going through the disappointment cycle again and again.

So, when I entered the contest, I hardly told anyone, other than my agent (I wouldn't even dream of entering without her blessing!) and a few people close to me.

Then, last night, as I do most for school mornings, I set my alarm for 7am, to make sure my youngest makes it out in time for the bus.

So, knowing that it was the 15th, and since I was already holding my phone in my hands...I opened my email.



I was STUNNED. Just totally stunned.

Then, because I'm me, I pulled my blankets over my face and started to cry. But I didn't want to wake my husband up by crying him into Monday. So I calmed down and patiently waited until he was awake and coherent.

I told him, and of course, he was very happy for me, considering he barely remembered that I'd entered.

Once everyone was out the door, I cried some more, made breakfast, sniffled a bit, and then sat down to some music on Youtube.

Unchain the gates, here come the tears. Because, like the song says, He is in the waiting.

IN IT, not outside of it. Not near it.

IN it.

I know that God will provide the airfare. I look forward to telling the story about how He does that.


Sooo, Tuesday evening, I received an email from Janet Grant, the President of my literary agency, Books and Such Literary Management.

Sidenote: We are known as "Bookies".

The reason for her email!?!?! A fellow Bookie had graciously donated $500 US toward my airfare!!!

Then, another friend promised additional funds, and then this morning, I opened my email to see that another $500 Canadian had been committed to the airfare fund!!!

I now have enough, "on paper" to purchase my tickets and cover baggage fees!!!

OH MY WORD!!! God is so very good!!!

How good?? For a moment, forget about anything husband was hit head-on last night. Out minivan is TOTALED, but John walked away without even a scratch!!!!!

Thank you, Lord!!!

And yes...I'm going to Mount Hermon.

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