You know, at this rate, I may have to institute a weekly share-the-success-story-email post!
Feast your eyes:
I'm going to be a published author. I won a MSFV contest way back and a first chapter critique, which was incredibly encouraging when I was aspiring. Then, after getting my agent, I was really grappling with the first chapter of my story, 'INSIGNIA', so I did the agented author critique. That motivated me to come up with the current beginning-- the right beginning.
A little bit later, I got my first book deal with that story.
INSIGNIA, the story of a teenage video gamer who becomes a government weapon in a futuristic world at war. (Summer of 2012, Katherine Tegen Books)