Best Use of Neil Diamond In An Opening Chapter

Firstly, thanks all for your fantastic support of my New Voices chapter. The response to it has been unbelievably amazing and I’m so happy that so many people seemed to like it. Truly, I had no idea it would be so popular or that it would stay being so popular throughout the competition. That has been the best thing about this competition – having that wonderful reader feeback.

But, of course, I did not final. And can I tell you now that I am NOT surprised in the slightest. I am not a new voice for them. I’ve already been a runner-up in one contest and I have been working with an editor for a while now so in many ways, I already have the prize (and the iPad!). So why did they encourage me to enter? Probably so they could see what readers thought of my voice. And the response has been yes, people like my voice so – as the wonderful Dr Jax told me – why would they choose me as a finalist? Better to give that place to someone totally new since they already have me. πŸ™‚

All that is supposition though. I am disappointed, yep, no denying it. But I do hope that I get some editorial response to It Girl. Because I do have story behind that first chapter, with actual, honest to God conflict and everything. Will keep you posted anyway. πŸ™‚

Big congrats to the finalists, especially Leah whom I met at RWAus. Great going girl! Hope it leads to big things for you.

As for me, I am awarding myself the prize for Best Use of Neil Diamond in an Opening Chapter. Because man, I earned it! πŸ™‚

48 thoughts on “Best Use of Neil Diamond In An Opening Chapter”

  1. Girl, you’ll be a woman soon! LOL, Jackie you’re one funny and fantastic lady. Love it. And Paul is the voice of wisdom. What a pair, totally suited.

    The competition was a fantastic opp for all of us and yes, I know, it sounds terribly cliched, but we’re all winners. We each got some amazing feedback, YOU got the most of all, so what’s not to celebrate? I loved taking part, I loved reading as many entries as I could and guess what? I hadn’t read one of the top ten!!!

    Anyway, rock on Jackie and enjoy the break away, you’ve certainly earned that too.

    Much love,

  2. I think you’re definitely right – they already have you and are working with you. This was a fab opportunity to get yourself better known ‘out there’ and as such it’s served it’s purpose πŸ™‚

    P.S. You’re going ot have to loan Dr Jax out, his wisdom is needed by the rest of us!

  3. Jackie, funny, I had the EXACT same thoughts as your husband. Keep going on IT girl (as I know you will) It’s a winner in my book, for sure.


  4. Susan – thanks. Your email was much appreciated. πŸ™‚

    Aideen – yes, all those comments are wonderful. Couldn’t ask for better. Lol re the man. Yeah, he rocks too.

    Lorraine – that goes for the rest of you too, you know! Yep, as a marketing tool, it has served it’s purpose eh?

    Amy – great minds think alike eh? Oh yeah, IT Girl will keep going. I’ve got that story sorted.

  5. Jackie I’m so hoping you’re right, cos if so it applies to me too – and Jo Pibworth and Felicity Roger :)!!!

    I’m still planning on subbing the partial of One Rogue, One Damsel this week, if I can ever get the synopsis sorted!!!

  6. Jackie I’m so hoping you’re right, cos if so it applies to me too – and Jo Pibworth and Felicity Roger :)!!!

    I’m still planning on subbing the partial of One Rogue, One Damsel this week, if I can ever get the synopsis sorted!!!

  7. Blah… disapointment sucks! I’m really sorry you didn’t get through… and I’m really sorry for me too (okay, I’m having a moment of boo-hoo-poor-me).

    My pep talk to self includes such wisdom as ‘this industry is full of highs and lows’ and ‘this will make my The Call story sound even better’. I was also fortunate enough to have an absolute ripper comment from Heidi Rice (along the lines of this is great and will be hard to beat). Now Heidi would have lost a few dollars if she was betting, because I don’t think any of her favs crossed the line (including yours) – but those comments are still worth their weight… they tell us that we are in the game. That we do have some notion of what we’re doing, and if we just keep plodding along something will come of it all.

    So I’m forcing myself back to the keyboard this morning… even though I don’t really feel like it. And I hope to hear you’ve subbed IT girl very, very soon – quickly followed by the thrilling news that they love you and want you !

  8. Rach – I reckon that’s right. How else to account for the fact that really popular chapters didn’t get through? Cause it’s not because we don’t know the lines or anything! Or because our voices suck – clearly they don’t. Yep, sub OROD. It rocks.

    Jo – aww, what a lovely comment! You rock. Yep, hugs to you. I thought your chapter was bloody awesome – was very jealous of it, truth be known. I can’t believe you will NOT get a request out of this contest because theyshouldn’t pass up the chance to snap you up. Any, let’s have a boohoo, poor me moment right now, wallow in it, then get back in the writing chair. HUGE chocolate martini to you.

  9. Awww Jackie, you say the loveliest things. Thank you. Cheers with the chocolate martini, I’ll now drag myself out of my wallow and get on with getting on.

  10. Thanks for the congratulations Jackie! I am still in a state of shock.

    I think you may be spot on (ditto for Rach) – they do already have you, and know how awesome you are πŸ™‚ I loved your chapter – you have a fabulous voice!

  11. Jo – I’m still wallowing. πŸ™ But that’s the honest truth about your chapter, and I wasn’t the only one that thought so.
    Anyway, have another martini and get on to writing chapter 2. πŸ™‚

  12. I would like to hand out some awards…ahem…(anyone I miss…I was bad w/reading chapters…so please feel free to add your own awards, or awards for others)

    Jackie: Best Use of Office Equipment to Inadvertently Seduce your Boss (with Neil Diamond)

    Aideen: Best Use Of A Santa Suit (hollah)

    Rach: Best Use of the Word Rogue in a Contemporary

    Lacey…who isn’t here, but will be one day: Best Use of Blogging and Angry Alpha Male

  13. Ditto to all of the above. I read so many great chapters during the competition it was never going to be an easy job for the editors, and Jackie you know better than most the job the top ten now have ahead of them. Anyway, congrats to all that entered. Congrats to you Jackie on a super chapter and hopefully will read it all in print soon.

  14. Hi Jackie – I’m with all the others who commented. I’m 100% positive we will see you soon on the shelves – get IT Girl out there!

    Also wondering if the ever so lovely Dr Jax is available for consultation? Fee payable of course – but saying that my DH was super lovely and ver supportive. Yesterday also got a “R” on a short story I subbed – so double boo hiss – lol. But he told me to metaphorically “get back on my horse” and get my story out there (with a bit of tweeking!) So I will. Back to NV, like a lot of the others – I hadn’t had a chance to read most of the top 10 – so that’s my plan for today. Caroline x (who incidentally was the subject of another Neil Diamond song – as in “Sweet Caroline” – lol.)

  15. Maisey – LOL! Great awards!

    Kerrin – thanks!

    Wendey – yep, you’re so right. I am lucky. Keep on keeping on huh?

    Felicity – yeah, so true. One chapter is all very well but there has to be a story behind it. It’s HARD to get it all right. Good luck eh?

    Caroline – nothing wrong with a bit of Neil eh? Boo hiss on the R. Gutting eh? Dr Jax could do a couple of consultations I’m thinking. A blog spot once a month πŸ™‚ Big yays for hubbies. They rock!

  16. I just wanted to say here, since I don’t think Jo Dixon has a blog, but Jo? Your chapter was one of my absolute favourites on the NV site. I loved it, every single word. I predict great things in your writing future if this example is anything to go by. I was certain you’d make top ten, honest to God.

    Best of luck to you.

  17. Jackie, I must admit I was quite surprised that your entry – and a few others – didn’t make the top ten. But when it didn’t, I came to the same conclusion Dr Jax did. I mean, Heidi Rice loved your chapter and she would know what is a good fit for MH!

    To be honest, I’m more confused than ever about what the eds are looking for after this contest. But one thing I’m taking away from this (apart from the bruising and battering) is the dogged determination to finally FTDB and sub something. Good luck with IT girl!

  18. Hi,

    You went out there on the front line and that’s the element of a fighter! You didn’t just back away and hope for the best to come backstage with ed input.

    OK, so it’s probably tougher having a couple of stripes (Corp)and you’re getting a double punch in the gut from this contest, but you now know that it’s not just your lovey buddies who like your writing!!

    Let’s be honest I’m not one for “lovey cliques” – too often feedback is overly positive within groups – and the feedback I get tends toward real critiquing rather than glowing praise. And, might I add, from unknowns (anonymous potent comments)popped up on the M&B NVs site when I posted a chap for the hell of it. Do I mind, not a jot. That’s life!

    Chin up, you’re halfway there and your dream will come to fruition, perhaps sooner than you think. πŸ˜‰


  19. I’m late to comment! *waves to Maisey* Thanks for my award!

    There are a lot of chapters from our blogland that I want to read the rest of *throws tantrum* I really hope that everyone will go ahead and slush it out.

    I hope that some entries warrant some editorial feedback like in the past. I have my fingers crossed for IT girl.

  20. Yay for getting the partial to M&B–that’s another step closer to us all being able to read the next chapters (which, by the way, I can’t wait for and neither can my daughter!).

    And Francine is totally right, who on earth would want to be a part of a ‘lovey clique’? So glad neither of us are πŸ™‚

  21. Jackie, I was bummed not to see your name in the top 10, but my first thought was, you aren’t “technically” s new voice to them.

    Frankly, I was amazed at the volume some of you had for rating. My CP cleared 100 as well. I was so proud of her. Imagine all the people who read and didn’t rate??? (Like me later on when I got frustrated with the inaccuracy of clicking on those roses.)

    All who entered need to be commended. It’s huge putting yourself out there like that. I know all of you are dedicated and talented. You will publish!

  22. Aideen – Jo, I hope you come back to read that! You were a big hit with the Sisters!

    Angie – yeah, keeping going is all you can do eh? And if there’s one thing you can learn it’s that you can’t second guess the eds either.

    Francine – thanks! Think I might have made sergeant by now hmm? But yes, onwards and upwards.

    Lacey – I have my fingers crossed for her too. And for Angry Blog Man! πŸ™‚

    Joanne – yep re the lovely clique! I haven’t actually sent my partial yet – still waiting for the Ed to get back to me about a few questions. But I’ve written it. Hope you’ve written yours too.

    Cat – awwww, thanks. I am an Old Voice. πŸ™‚ One day…

    Suzanne – will try with IT Girl. Am hoping Ed sees promise in it.

    Sri – thanks! Yes, well, going to give IT Girl a shot. If I can get it past the Ed.

  23. Oh wow, Aideen… you just made my day! Yesterday I was determined to get straight back into my next MS (which I started during NV to distract myself), and it was a pitiful exercise… couldnt’ concentrate, hated every single blasted word I wrote, hated my hero, hated my heroine, hated writing!! Had a true ‘what the hell do we do this for, it’s such a long hard road, with so little return’ moment … and then this morning I read your comment…

    Look at that, I’m smiling again !! Thank You so much. It’s little words like that that make all the difference. You’ve just refuelled my motivation…. it’s back to the keyboard we go, hi ho, hi ho.

    Oh, and no, I don’t have a blog… but I quite like it here in Jackie-Ashenden world, so I might hang around a bit… if that’s ok πŸ™‚

  24. Jackie:
    Your entry is fabulous. As I commented over at NV, I’d buy the novel for myself and all my friends. I’m going to give myself one more day to pout then it’s back on that dark horse to finish my manuscript… hope he doesn’t throw me! ; )
    Waves and hugs to everyone else. I “recognize” a lot of you from NV and enjoyed all your chapters. OK. I’m finished now, as I feel a little bit like the new girl at school trying to sit at the cool kids’ table! : )

  25. Jo, it was my pleasure to be honest and if I’ve made your day, well then I’m pretty pleased with myself. I commented to the other sassies the moment I had read your chapter, I was wowed by how effortlessly you conveyed Ryder’s sexiness. Not shallow, not me but you did an amazing job with him. I adored Willa too, what’s not to love about a heroine who is super cool yet vulnerable all at once? The premise, the characters, your writing, the whole shebang had me convinced that you’d place. But I believe you will move forward and will be published. And soon because I NEED to read the rest of this story. Just fabulous all round.

    It’s great to be able to chat on someone else’s blog, isn’t it? Jackie does the hard work while we sit back and discuss stuff!!

  26. Aideen… it’s like having someone else’s living room to crash in, and we don’t have to do the cleaning up! Jackie.. Jackie… are you there? have you got any chocolate biscuits!

    Re Ryder… the funny thing is I’m writing this new hero and I keep having to go back to ‘Gossip’ to see what it was I did right ! Hopefully it wasn’t a one-off and I can create another sexy man.

  27. In hindsight I guess the clue was in the title, lol!
    You might not be a new voice Jackie, but you ARE a fabulous one, and IT girl will get her day in the sun, i’m sure.
    Keep on keepin on, you know the

    Can I say hello to Tina & Jo while I’m here in your cyber bar?

    *clicks fingers at Rob Lowe, who by a stroke of good luck is serving chocolate martini’s in nothing but an apron and a smile*

    I loved both of your entries and really expected to see your names on the list – fingers crossed that you’ll get requests out of the comp for your partials.


  28. Jo – m’dear, hang out here all you want. You might like it at the Sisters blog too. Aideen hangs around over there too. And I’m so pleased you’re encouraged to keep writing. Talent should not be wasted!

    Tina – aren’t you fab? You can hang out here any day!! Seriously, do come visit, I love having people here posting. It’s a great support network. Yep, have a pout for another day (I am) and then get back into the ms. I’m sure it’ll be great.

    Aideen – yeah, sure, freeload. See if I care. πŸ˜‰

    Jo – *passes chocolate biscuits* Anything else you need? Coffee? Tea? Martinis?

  29. Since we’re hanging out…

    Joanne P: Best use of sequins and tassles!

    Jo: Best use of hero name that describes what the hero will be doing to the heroine. (Ryder! Hee!)

    Lorraine: Best Wounded Man

    Kerrin: Best Happily Paid Price!

  30. Jo P – thank you so much for the thumbs up, I loved, loved, loved Sequins… your capturing of that opening scene was utter magic. And I love burlesque! I really thought you’d be on that top ten list.

    Maisey – LOL, I hadn’t thought of that… no really, I hadn’t. Now I won’t be able to think of anything else.

    Question for all the experienced sisters here… what does happen if an editor sees an entry she likes? Do they really send out requests for partials? And should I just go ahead and sub my partial anyway?

    ps. my word ver. is BUTCH… could be the name of my next hero !!!

  31. Tina – make as much mess as you like, Hoo will clean up. πŸ™‚

    Jo P – you’re a star too y’know? I loved your chapter – such a fabulous beginning! I hope you’re writing the rest of that one. Yeah, IT Girl will have her day – I hope!

    Maisey – LOL! What great awards. Jo, I wonder where you got Ryder’s name from… πŸ˜‰

    Jo D – and now you say you didn’t know? Really? ‘nudge nudge, wink, wink. And yes, eds to send out requests for entries they like the look of. I got one from the Instant Seduction contest a couple of years ago. Or rather, they didn’t want to see any more of my entry (cause it was pants) but they did want to see something else. So I reckon you’ll get a request. But it may take them a while to get their act together so why not sub anyway?? You could then write another starring Butch. πŸ˜‰

  32. Jo! I can answer that!

    Well, our darling Aideen knows that you can get a full request from a comp without finaling. (she did for the FtH comp!)

    And to hear my comp story, click on my name and pop over to my web-site. Jackie won’t mind if I pimp my blog in her living room…

  33. I’m with Lorraine: awards, chocolate biscuits and Rob Lowe in nothing but an apron – what’s not to like?!

    Wouldn’t surprise me if several of the fab entries we all read get a nice email requesting a partial or more. I have my fingers crossed for everyone (it’s not impossible or even improbable – it could happen)! Call me a happy optimist and pass Rob (oops I mean the biscuits) *blushes*

  34. Lorraine – m’dear eat as many biscuits as you like.

    Maisey – need more envelopes for awards?

    Elissa – Glad to see you’re enjoying Rob (and the biscuits). Fingers crossed for requests huh?

  35. I always try to clean up my own messes… though Hoo does have more arms than I and could probably do a much better job!

    Joanne: thanks so much!

  36. Hi everyone… just dropping into Jackie’s living room to share some news… did you see the comment by Flo Nicholl over in the news section of the NV site,

    “There were a lot of entries that we loved that didn’t make the top 10, and there’ll be an announcement tomorrow about what’s going to happen with them – make sure you check it out!”

    Oh no… another day of waiting around in the hope of hearing something positive. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say, and who they’re saying it about (if they tell us that).

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