And, yes, I am a 'Goober'. I had the goober of all evening, full of gooberisms, but the good news is... I won! Or rather ALL ABOUT EVIE won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Single Title! The moment was doubly sweet as I tied with Jan Coffey--the writing team of Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick. Two of my favorite people in the biz. Congrats Jim and Nikoo!!
The day started off just dandy, with the exception of my eyes. Once again, as they have been throughout the summer, they were swollen and red--some sort of allergic reaction I have yet to identify. Steve's right. I have to break down and go to the doctor. This is crazy. They itch and hurt, too. Not my eyeball, by the way, but my eyelids and the entire area below and around my eye. I took an allergy pill, but it didn't help. In fact, as the day wore on, they got worse. Mind you I am at the NJRW writer's conference. I'm surrounded by peers and industry professionals. I won an award. I'm trying to look 'authorly'. I look like someone punched me in both eyes! Desperate, I swapped my regular prescription glasses for my tinted prescription glasses. They almost look like sunglasses. Okay. So now I look like a diva or a female Jack Nicholson, but at least I don't look diseased.
Moving on.... the day progressed well. Fabulous workshops. Saw a few people I know. A lot of people I don't know. My home chapter and I felt like a stranger to most. That's what happens when you don't attend the monthly meetings for more than a year. Not my fault. Work and writing conflicts. But wow, did I feel shy and awkward. Maybe it was the tinted glasses. What if people thought I was aloof? Or a diva? I'm not. I swear! I'm afflicted with some dasterdly allergy!
Moving on... so the evening comes and it's time for me to drive to the train station to pick up Keyren. I'm speaking of Keyren Gerlach, my editor from HQN, who really should've been home packing for her up coming overseas vaca, but insisted she wanted to be there for me at the awards ceremony. How sweet is that? She arrives on time and so do I, but I'm parked in a garage and we can't find each other. Little did I know there were two parking garages. So, I tell her to walk outside, I'll walk outside, and we'll keep talking on the phone, calling out landmarks until we find each other... which we eventually did.
Moving on... we're crunched for time, but we're both starving, so we rush into the hotel's bar and grill. We both end up ordering the same exact dinners right down to the regular, not diet, cokes. We talk about lots of things, but mostly our animals, and I think, man, am I lucky. We are so in sync.
Running down to the wire, we ask the waitress to box our sandwiches. We hurry up to my room--top level--race to my door to get rid of the food stuffs (and fix our lipstick) and--GAK!--I had locked my key in the room! Great. So now we'll be going into the awards ceremony with doggie bags and no lipstick. We race back down to the lobby. I get a new room key. We race back up. I had another goober moment but I can't remember what it was now, only that my eyes were MORE swollen. Are there stress related allergies? Again with the tinted glasses. Keyren assured me I looked hip, and not diva-ish. Here's hoping.
Moving on... we get out of the elevator on the wrong floor, the second floor, and we walk down these huge spiraling stairs to the lobby. I'm envisioning myself taking a header in my heels, thanking God I wore briefs under my skirt, not a thong--but luckily I was spared that embarrassment.
We walk into the ceremony on time, find a seat, and though I wasn't nervous before--now I'm super nervous. My heart pounded in my chest as they presented awards in several other categories before they got to mine. I realized suddenly that they were reading excerpts from the books that won (before they announced the winner's name). They get to the Single Title category. They say they have a first ever--a tie. Ann starts reading an excerpt and by the second line I relaized it was from ALL ABOUT EVIE. Naturally I start crying as I am a goober. I grabbed Keyren's hand as Ann continued to read. The audience laughed not once but several times. I cry some more because, hey, they think I'm funny! What a rush.
Zoom ahead to where they announce I tied with Jan Coffey (Jim and Nikoo). Because they are so wonderful and because we're so happy for each other, I think we group hugged twice before making to te stage. I tell myself to be calm and gracious as I accept the award. I think I at least managed gracious. Forget calm. I thanked those near and dear, or rather I choked out my thank yous because I was crying. (Goober, goober, goober)
I promise to post more about why this was such a big deal to me later. Like tomorrow. Maybe. Or Monday. Rushing now because I have to get downstairs for breakfast and more workshops. But one last goober moment....
So after the ceremony Keyren and I have dessert, but she needs to make a train nd we're running late so we zip up to my rom and.... I can't find my car keys!!!!!!! I search and search. I finally found them. In my jewlery bag. I have no idea why I put them in there. No. idea.
I did get Keyren to the train station on time. Made it back to the hotel without further incident. I'm hoping today will be free of goober moments, although my eyes are still horribly swollen and red and, yes, it's another tinted glasses day. A thought occurred as I showered. Could it be a food allergy?
Please, God. Don't let it be coffee.