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Writers of America holds two contests each year, the RITA's for the published author and the Golden Heart for the unpublished author.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 As I am yet unpublished, I entered the Golden Heart.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...