Wow. I'm honored and floored. When I saw my name included with the list of finalists, I was humbled. I recognized many of those names, and I've seen their writing. There was so much talent in that list, I was delighted just to be a part of it.
All I can think of now is that I didn't get here on my own. Without God, my writing would have no purpose. Without the entire staff of FaithWriters, I would not have had a safe place to write and build up my confidence as a writer. Without the love of family and friends, my writing would be pointless. Without my writer friends--my iron-sharpening-iron besties, how on earth could my writing skills and faith be honed? Without the proofreading and editing services of Jan Ackerson, my writing would have shined less. (Oh my gosh, that woman is a gem!) Without the FaithWriter writing conference, I wouldn't have met Mike Edwards and would have missed out on an inspiring conversation with him about writing and faith, I wouldn't have met my challenge buddy in person, and wouldn't have met author Leslie Gould, who has been encouraging me ever since.
I could go on, but I'll spare you. This isn't the Oscars for crying out loud, so I'll wrap up. To quote a friend: "Whatever I do that turns out good, that's on God. Whatever I do that doesn't hit the mark, well, that's on me."
Congratulations to all who entered. That is an accomplishment all in itself. Congratulations to the finalists. And congratulations to Kevin Ingram and Jim McWhinnie.