A Win for The Goober!

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.


Mary Stella said…
WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Yay for All About Evie and for you, my dear friend! I'm so proud of you and your book, B! Congrats to Jim and Nikoo, too.

Regarding your allergy -- you seem to get it at conferences. I wonder if you're allergic to something in hotel atmospheres. Steve is right. Go to the doctor!
Tori Lennox said…
Congrats on your win!!!!

*hugs* on the eye allergies!!!
Cynthia said…
Congrats on the win!!!

We're all very proud of you.
Julia Templeton said…
Congratulations, Beth!
SOOOO happy for you.
And I second what Mary said about the doctor ;).
Gabriele C. said…
Congrats on the win!
Jordan Summers said…
Woo Hoo!!! Way to go, Beth!!! Big Congrats on the win. I'm not surprised in the least. All About Evie is a terrific read. :)
charleneteglia said…
Squeee! Congrats, Beth! Cheers for you and Evie! Bummer about the allergies. You might try Similisan 2 eye drops, my eye doc recommended them to me for allergies and they work wonders. (You should still see a doc, though)
flchen1 said…
Yippee!! Congratulations, Beth! What a terribly exciting evening, and what a well-deserved win! :) Hope your eyes are feeling better, and ditto all the encouragement to get it checked out... take care!
Beth Ciotta said…
Thank you for the shout outs everyone! Your enthusiastic support is pricelss. So appreciated! Home now. Good thing. I'm exhausted. But I had a great time...obviously. Tommorrow it's back to business as usually, although I do have a cool crystal award as inspiration. Life is swell!
Beth Ciotta said…
Er... that was supposed to be 'business as USUAL.' Told you I was exhausted.
Jennifer Elbaum said…
Congrats on the well-deserved win!

Sitting in the audience, I felt like I was playing Name That Tune. I knew Ann was reading from your book at the fourth or fifth word and I was SO excited for you.

Just so that you know your imagination wasn't playing tricks on you, I wanted to confirm that your tear-choked speech was surpremely gracious and the audience did indeed seem to greatly enjoy the excerpt.

Congrats Beth!
HelenKay said…
Sorry about the allergy, but huge congrats on the win!!!! That is amazing news!
steve said…
Great news on the win. Goober or no, you should be happy.

And now, bring on the claritin... :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Jenn, thanks for assuring me that I sounded gracious. I truly am gratful to so many people. They say writing is a solitary profession. To that I say, yes and no.

I'm thrilled we got to spend some quality time together. Here's hoping it's not a entire year before I see you again!
Beth Ciotta said…
Thank you much, HelenKay!!!!

And thank you, Steve. I AM happy. Just itchy, though, thankfully not Sneezy, and hopefully not Dopey. Though I am, after a full day of working on gallies, Sleepy. Where was I? Right. Claritin. :)
Marissa Alwin said…
YAY! again Beth! I didn't get to see your big moment because i was celebrating my daughter's 6th bday. When I got back to the convention and heard you won I was so excited for you!!! *caddyshack gopher dance!* you deserve it! the book is awesome and so are you!

elsiehogarth said…
Congratulations Beth! It was wonderful seeing you again even without your "stalker" due to her Disney trip. We'll see you at the end of the month at Borders.
Bob said…
Great to see hard work and talent pay off.

I'd add my yes to getting allergy tested, but watch out for some of those "fix everything" medicines. Some cause drowsiness and tiredness and such. Better to be puffy eyed and sneezy than that in my case.
Beth Ciotta said…
*Waving to Mo* It was great to see you. Hope your daughter's party was a smash hit. SIX! How cute. :)

Elsie, it seemed quite odd not to see the lovely stalker Laurie in person, but I certainly felt her in spirit! As always it was a genuine thrill to see you and Noreen. Looking forward to the bookstore chat at the end of this month. See you there!
Beth Ciotta said…
Jennifer, thank you!!

Bob, as always, thanks for the shout of support. As to the allergies, I'll be making an appointment to get it checked out. We're wondering now if it may be the laundry detergent. I've always had sensitive skin. Hmm.
Roni said…
Beth, it was so wonderful that you won the award! And sharing it with Nickoo and Jim--who are also great writers--is cool. I can tell you that the competition was fierce, especially for your category, so your win was a triumph! So many people said they were going to buy your book because the excerpt Anne read was so funny.
As for allergies...have you checked into your make-up? Either a new or old make-up can sometimes set you off. I understand mascara is often a culprit. There are eye drops out there that can help--my daughter uses them on bad allergy days. (I have allergies, too, and ragweed and mold is big this time of year).
Congrats again my friend!
RAC said…
Congratulations! Will you autograph my man boobs, please? ;-)

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