I am in a place where I never expected to be on several notes. I have spent the last three or more years with my head in one manuscript after another, riding out west with the heroes who have somehow become the voices that speak inside my head. Strange? Probably, but not for a writer. Having only pursued publication since 2012, I never expected to find myself signing a contract for Sawyer's Rose this soon. The funny thing is while I am excited, elated and off the chain about it, some other things I never expected have surfaced. First I have spent all of 2013 and 2014 working toward the goal of submitting to the Virginia Ellis Critique, which both years proved to be invaluable. And then what I learned from these critiques helped me with submitting better writes to the Maggies both years, where just this past fall Sawyer's Rose got an honorable mention. So one of the things I am in limbo about is I do not have a contest to enter. Well, I did put Sawyer's Rose in the Golden Heart. What the heck am I suppose to be doing? Since I signed the contract for Sawyer's Rose with the Wild Rose Press, I am no longer eligible to enter the Gin Ellis critique, which is a good thing, but leaves me whirling with ideas and no where to go. And this time of year, I am usually in hard edits for what I want to place in the Maggies and here I sit, ineligible to do that either. Yes, for good reasons, but what do I do now? My brain has stayed in mode of working up to all the contests for so long. I've submitted what I needed to submit to my editor, but I now am waiting on revisions, which will come some time in April. But here I am needing to use this time wisely since there are no contests for me and Wyatt's story (Sawyer's bounty hunting brother) needs to get written. Yet, while I love this cowboy, he is sitting still and not getting written as fast as I normally write. Something about this time in between first sale and first edits is difficult, almost maddening to quote a friend who knows--and again something I didn't expect as I have never really had writer's block. The good thing is that it has been a month since I signed the contract and I've done a lot of spinning but I think I am starting to get my feet on the ground once again. Wyatt is coming along better the last few days and I now have kimturnerwrites.com website up and running. So I am getting things checked off my list. And since I am a list maker, this means progress. So my advice to the newly published is to expect this time of limbo, and just go with it. This might just be normal. Heavy sigh....breathe in, breathe out and write on!