RWA National conference is over, but this conference of 2012 will live on in my memory in very clear detail. I was a Golden Heart finalist, and in truth I had little understanding of what that meant to anyone else.
The nomination gave me a boost of much needed confidence. It was an achievement I thought I would never realize, and now I’ll never forget the experience. My friend Lynne Marshall always says that we can never do this alone, this writing thing. And I think she’s correct. When they told us to write a two minute speech it was harder to write than any query letter I’d ever attempted, and believe me, I hate writing those things. Anyway, there were so many people that I wanted and needed to thank but I had to fine tune it to get it all in there in the time frame.
Here is what I would have said had I had that great good fortune to stumble up onto that stage:
I love Mick Jagger’s words:
“No you can’t always get what you want…
And if you try sometime, you might get what you need.”
I tried a lot of times, and it took ten solid years to get to this point. This is such an honor, and it’s both what I wanted and needed.
Thank you to RWA, my fellow finalists, my chapter mates at Los Angeles Romance Authors, (WOOT!) and my awesome writer’s posse: Lynne Marshall, TJ Bennett, Dee J. Adams, Trish Cerrone, Melissa Jarvis, and Gina Bono who is my current critique partner, and the person holding my hand tonight and keeping me calm. Also, I want to give a huge thanks to my beta readers, Gayle, Donna, and Marge.
To my family, Anna, David, and Marcus, who are here with me tonight, my Mum and my family in Australia, and my mother-in–law in NYC, thank you for always believing in me, even when I began to question.
To Jenny Crusie, and the Cherries, Lani Diane Rich, and the Betties, you are so generous with your knowledge of the craft of writing and in providing a safe place for discussion. You are truly the best.
To The Wild Rose Press, thank you for taking a chance on me. The first book in my desert series: Unlock the Truth, will be published in 2013.
I’m dedicating this award to my nephew Josh, who passed away in March but is here tonight in spirit.
Thank you everyone. Goodnight.
You can see from the above how many people are deserving of words of thanks, and there are even more: people who taught me in online classes, or in person at UCLA Extension, other writers who gave countless workshops at our local chapter, or at prior conferences, and the list goes on…far too many names, for two minutes. You almost want to stand up there and say: Thank you to everyone I know. You are all amazing. Thank you, and goodnight. Because seriously, that’s what I would have meant. Even though I didn’t win in my category your support, and your hooting and hollering at the event, and your hugs and words in person and on my blog or other internet loops, meant so much. If you’re reading this blog, then somehow I know you, you are in my life, so consider yourself heartily thanked. : )