My last post included my trip to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in Denver. One of the reasons I went was to support one of my authors who'd been nominated for a RITA award. About four hours before the award ceremony, she tells me that the winning authors AND their editors go up and say a few words (just like every awards show you've seen on TV). Now, never in a million years did I ever think I'd be having to go up on stage and speak to hundreds of people, including some of my favorite authors! I was in a panic...did I want her to win or not? Now I wasn't so sure.
Yes, I was sure. I wanted her to win.
So I prepared. I had a few hours and jotted down a quick note:
As an editor, you always hope the manuscripts that come across your desk will be well-written, have great characters, make you feel all the emotions, make you laugh (in the best way possible, and not in a oh-my-God-this-can't-go-out-into-the-world way) and make you cry at the right time. I am so honored that all of that and more came to me in Evelyn's book, Dare and a Deposition. Thank you to the judges for your time and commitment to the process, but most of all, thank you to Evelyn for letting me be part of your journey.
So, that's what I wrote down. I had some more ideas in my head, because there was more I wanted to say. But having never been to this ceremony before (or watching it online, which, apparently you can do), I wasn't sure of the tone of the night. Was it serious? Crazy? Laugh-a-minute? Tug-your-heartstrings? So I kept my thoughts to myself - didn't write them down so I wouldn't say them out loud unless I read the room and felt it was appropriate. Or maybe so if someone saw my little speech, they'd be surprised by the ending.
That someone was, of course, my hubby. He came to Denver with me and worked that week with his guys in the area. He wanted to support me for the award ceremony and generally support my career. Unfortunately, he wasn't feeling well that week, and the day of the ceremony things came to a head. He actually was at a Urgent Care clinic that afternoon, getting some tests run. By the time he was done and back at the hotel, the award ceremony had begun. I was in the banquet room, waiting for him, and he was out of the room, trying to find me. After about ten minutes of miscommunication and missed opportunities and missed connections, we finally met up and I took him to our table.
At this point, it's past dinner time...and neither of us have eaten. I don't know about you, but I can be rather...cranky when I haven't eaten. And I was nervous. And I was worried about the hubby - because he wasn't feeling well and he hadn't eaten either. We were both stressed, to be sure.
But you know what? He came through for me in true romance-book-hero fashion. He was there. He cared enough about me to do his best to support me, even when he felt like crap and just wanted to grab something to eat and go back to the room to sleep. And he's always been that way. He's always been supportive of my choices and encouraged me to stretch, to grow.
So, to end my little speech, I wanted to thank my husband for always being there for me, for encouraging me to pursue this path, even when he didn't think it would necessarily go anywhere or work out well. I wanted to thank him for putting up with the deadlines and accepting that all my authors were the most important authors ever, and I needed to give up cleaning the bathrooms to make sure that those commas were in the right place. (Just kidding...I never actually really clean anyway!) And I especially wanted to thank him for being my body dummy when I had a problematic scene where I couldn't quite figure out where the guy's hands were in the sex scene.
And all I could think of was that famous (well, for people of a certain age, I guess) Emmy award speech by Kristie Alley, where she thanked her husband for "giving her the big one." I was sure I was going to channel my inner idiot and say it just like she did:
But I'm kind of okay with that. After all, if you can't admit to loving your partner in a room full of romance junkies, where can you?