I’ve been away this summer, 2021. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Another tough month in another tough year. Just when things seem to bottom out, they sink some more.
But if you know me, you know I cannot resist the climb back out. It’s September and time to try again. (Don’t quote me that stupid “do or do not, there is no try” thing – I vehemently disagree. TRY is my motto.)
So, September. I published a third memoir during 2021 : “Lost Year. A Pandemic Diary 2020”. I haven’t promoted it much, yet, due to the ongoing struggles in 2021 life, but it’s time to TRY again.
Earlier this year, I submitted the first 10K words of my latest publication to the annual inkandinsights.com contest. I’d had good feedback in this contest with my 2 previous memoirs, even winning a “Top Ten” sticker for my flagship book “Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story”. “First We Eat. Food, Life, and More Stories” also scored consistently well among the 4 judges who do the reviewing. I submitted again this time, but in the fog of 2021, I forgot about submitting “Lost Year.”
Then one day I checked my spam folder and lo and behold, my scoresheets from the 2021 Ink and Insights contest were there! Yikes, almost lost them, (like the whole year of 2020, how fitting.) But with those nerves pounding my heart-rate that I get when awaiting someone’s judgement of my work, I read the reviews.
Quite interesting. Both the previous 2 memoirs received consistent scores from the judges, as in, similar scores from all 4 judges. Not “Lost Year”. 2 of the scores were exceptional, 198/200! A high-water mark for sure. And 185/200. Wow. Both included the supporting glowing praise. The other 2 judges, not so glowy. Scores of 103/200 and 125/200. Hmm.. of course I read in great detail what they didn’t like about my story. And I can’t complain, really, as neither of these judges scored my writing ability as at any fault. One didn’t like the format (narrating voice of past, present, even future, mixed and interspersed), and one simply didn’t think my story had anything to teach. There was even an insinuation that, I, the author, “didn’t suffer as much as they did” during the pandemic. Oh well, everyone’s story isn’t for everyone else, but I defend my own story, told my own way.
All to say, this book will either wow you, or not. If not, at least all agree it is well-written. That’s something.
I can’t resist ending with the (best score) judge’s closing comments. I’m so pleased it wowed her. Why don’t you give it a try yourself 😉?
IVY comments on “Lost Year. A Pandemic Diary 2020”
Closing Comments: I have to say, this piece is nothing short of fantastic and by far one of my favorites that I’ve read this year. It’s down to earth, moving, and relatable. My only worry is that maybe it will be released too soon. With the pandemic so fresh on our minds, even ongoing, would people read someone else’s account while still coping with their own? I can see how some would use it a s a coping mechanism to tell themselves that their struggles are worth it, and they are not alone, but I could also see some potential readers purposefully avoiding it due to the traumatic nature of it’s content. Bit I digress. That has nothing to do with the actual quality of your piece (which is fantastic, did I mention it was fantastic), but rather with the healing of the people who may or may not pick it up. Well Done!
2 thoughts on “2021. September. Time to Try Again.”
Congratulations Michelle…..Lots of good they gave you .. I ,too,,loved the last judges words to you …maybe the two who scored you so low, know nothing of military life…l know most enjoy your books and soon sales will get back up and running ….hugs have a great day !
Good work publishing during these difficult times. I dragged my feet too last year, but managed to update one of my books. Getting the work out is hard. You do a terrific job of it.
Bernard N Lee, Jr.Bernie@bernardleejr.com