Yesterday, I was in the middle of making the bed and thinking about showering and ducking out to exchange the wrong-size toilet seat I’d bought at Target the day before. It’s a long story. I’ll get back to it later.
Anyway, the phone rang and I learned from RWA® that my entry, Exposure, was a finalist in the Golden Heart® contest in the Romantic Suspense category. To say I was excited, nervous, happy, would be an understatement. I was in shock, and shaking. I’d gone to the RWA website earlier and watched the categories fill up and couldn’t take the suspense anymore. I’d figured the results were all in, and once again that slippery little GH nomination had slid out of my sweaty grasp.
At my computer, I typed up a couple of messages and then saved them to send later. I went to the RWA site to double check. My entry and name had not posted. Talk about suspense! I checked the phone to make sure that I hadn’t imagined the call. I mean, I am a writer, and I do make stuff up. : ) My name posted about ten minutes later, around 9:45 am. I made a couple of quick phone calls to family in the U.S. (it was too early to call Australia.) Then I zipped around the internet and hit all of my favorite spots: my critique partner, Gina, my old critique group, LARA my RWA chapter, Jenny Crusie and Argh Ink, Reinventing Fabulous, The BettyVerse, Facebook, Google+ and of course my Beta readers.
Congratulations rolled in, and I was overwhelmed by the genuine love. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing in my excitement. Your caring means so much to me. By the time I lifted my head it was noon.
I still hadn’t gone out to exchange the toilet seat, and the old one had been tossed into the trash. The old seat was one of those plush jobs and it had formed a little crack. No comments on weight, thank you very much. I often use that bathroom because it’s the closest one to the living room and my office. I never turn on the light even if it’s nighttime, and if I’m watching TV I leave the door open so I don’t miss anything. So Sunday night, exhausted from doing housework, and annoyed with my incorrect purchase, I poured a glass of wine and watched a movie on HBO. Halfway through the movie, I hurried to the loo and sat down and almost fell into the bowl. I’d forgotten the seat had been removed. I laughed hysterically and then closed the door and left it closed as a reminder. It felt good to laugh.
I’d been housebound and grieving for a week, because my eighteen year old nephew had died in a car accident in Australia. I’d talked with my mother and siblings back home, and mentioned the GH to Mum and that the nominations were also the day of Josh’s funeral. She said, “Maybe he’ll bring you luck. Maybe he’ll watch over you and pull a few strings.” We laughed about that because many years ago I had subsidy published a couple of books before self-publishing was considered okay. One book was set in the Hunter Valley vineyards where Josh’s family live. He took my book to school for show and tell and talked about his Aunty Roben, the famous author. <g> I think he was about eight years old.
I called my mother before the funeral, after showering and putting on some make up and my orange shirt to honor Josh. All of his mates were wearing orange tee-shirts to the funeral. Mum was so happy when I told her my news about the GH. She said this would give everyone something positive to think about and look forward to. Honestly, to me it felt like a message of love from Josh. His personal statement on Facebook was: If you really want something you better make sure you get it. He knew I wanted that GH nomination and that I’d worked hard to get it. So behind the curtain he pulled the strings, and I smiled and whispered, “Thanks mate.”