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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Close Call

As all romance writers know, yesterday was a big day. For those of you who aren't romance writers, here's what Monday was all about. The national chapter of Romance Writers of America holds two contests each year, the RITA's for the published author and the Golden Heart for the unpublished author. This is as important to the romance writer as the Academy Awards is to an actor. As I am yet unpublished, I entered the Golden Heart. Yesterday, RWA announced the finalists with phone calls to each. The winners are then declared at the RWA annual meeting, this year being held in July in Anaheim, California. Word was out yesterday that the phone calls would be complete by 2:00p.m.

I went about my normal morning routine yesterday, trying not to hope that I'd receive a call telling me that I had finaled in the GH. But darn it all, as the morning wore on, that hope had escalated to the point I was on pins and needles.

By 9:00 a.m., the RWA website had already begun to list the finalists. The names came sporadically. I checked Contemporary Series Romance looking for my name. Not yet. No names listed. Okay, fine, no problem. I'll carry on.

(Reader beware after this point.) I was, um, uh, okay - I was sitting on the toilet, yoga pants at my ankles, when the phone rings. Oh. My. God. Here it is, I say to myself. Here's the call I've been waiting for. I jumped up (thankfully I'd already Charminized) and ran toward the phone while trying to tug my pants up. The phone rang again. Good Lord, I don't want this to go to the answering machine because maybe there was some kind of rule that if you don't answer they'll hang up and then you're screwed.

As I'm race walking with my pants down around my ankles, I snag my little toe on the foot of the dresser and I hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. My toe is throbbing, but who cares? I'll gladly sacrifice my pinky. Heck, I've got two of them. For the love of all that is holy, I'll donate both pinky toes if I can just be a GH finalist.

On my knees with my bare butt hanging out and my pinky toe throbbing, I reach for the phone. I know what I'm going to hear. A wonderful female voice will say, "Hello, I'm calling to inform you that you've finaled in this year's Golden Heart contest." My mind jogs ahead and I start thinking OMG I've got to make airline and hotel reservations. What am I going to do with my hair. Eek! I'll need something formal to wear! But who gives a rat's butt because I'm going to be a GH Finalist!!!

I bring the receiver to my ear with a shaking hand and in my best fake, flowery, birds singing in spring voice, I say, "Hello?" There's a split second when I anticipate the first word out of this angel's mouth that I know has come straight from heaven.

But instead, what do I hear? My husband/boss says, "Hey. You know that letter you just emailed me? It's got a typo."

Huh? What? WHAT????

By 2:00 p.m. all the finalists had been named. I was not one of them. Sigh. Guess there's always next year...

12 comments:

Em-Musing said...

Aw...and ha ha! Not ha ha that you didn't place, but this is a funny, funny story. And I hope your toe is OK.

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh, Jenna, this was TOO funny!! Charmanized? We're making that our new word!! Ha!!

I'm sorry you didn't get the GH call, but I'm glad you shared this hilarious story! Oh, my...

Heather said...

I love your humor in this story and wish you the best of luck for next year!!

Ayda Recknagel said...

I'm so sorry you didn't place, but so very happy you shared this story! The giggle it gave me is much appreciated. There's always next year...

Jennifer Shirk said...

That was hilarious!!
And I'm sorry you didn't final. Especially after all that! LOL

Jenna Rutland said...

Em: Toe is okay. Disappointment still lurking. Miss you! Hope all is going well.

Jill: Glad you liked the story. It's probably a good thing I didn't final - I'd hate to have to tell that nice woman my condition while talking to her on the phone! Charminized it is!

Heather: Thanks for the good wishes for next year!

Ayda: Glad I could make you giggle. I have to say I did my share yesterday too. It helped to even out being bummed.

Jennifer: Thanks! I couldn't admit to my husband how disappointed I was that he was the one on the phone!

Thanks for stopping by, ladies! Have a good one.

Constance Phillips said...

Big hugs, Jenna, on not getting 'the call', but Kudos for having the sense of humor to share this story.

Best wishes for next year!

Jenna Rutland said...

Thanks, Constance!

erin said...

Mom I literally just spit my coffee out onto my bed reading this! love you

Jenna Rutland said...

Thanks, baby. Love you too! (Sorry you've got to wash the sheets now!)

Patrice Kavanaugh said...

Agree with everyone who said this story is hilarious!! Sorry you didn't make GH status. I remember my pain from not finaling last year. I didn't even try this year. Good for you for keeping at it.

Jenna Rutland said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Patrice. The "call" I got a few days later certainly made up for not getting this call.