The Golden Heart Revisited

I opened this little establishment almost a year ago, shortly after I learned that one of my manuscripts (Paper Hearts) was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest.  The Golden Heart is a Big Deal in the romance world, and I was thrilled.  I went to the RWA National Conference in New York City and had a wonderful time, met lots of people, and watched a cop on horseback plant a parking ticket on a UPS truck while I ate an overstuffed reuben on the sidewalk at Junior’s.

Eventually life returned to normal, and I kept writing.  I finished (with a writing marathon Thanksgiving week) my newest manuscript, Bathtub Jinn, and then I took a break for a few weeks.  We like to call that “filling the well,” which sounds as good as any other excuse. 

On New Year’s Day, my hundred word group started a new stretch, and I began a new story.  I wrote about twenty pages before one of those little voices that live in every writer’s head stopped making up stories and told me to get back to work on Bathtub Jinn.  I’d gotten some good feedback from my critique group and contest judges, and I knew the manuscript needed cutting here and expanding there.  And who knows, the little voice said, you might get lucky again.  So I got out the green pen (red ink feels so critical) and dove back in.

Yesterday the calls went out for this year’s Golden Heart and Rita (that’s the contest for published work) nominations.  My little voice was still with me, and I told Jo Anne last week that I planned to stay home an hour or so later than usual, just in case the phone rang.  (Last year I was somewhere on the freeway, missed the call, and finally found an email in my spam folder asking for another phone number!) 

As it happened, there were two accidents and a truck fire on I45 between here and Houston yesterday morning, and I would have been at least an hour late if I had left at my normal time.  Good excuse to stay home, I told myself.  At least a thousand people who were brave enough to enter the Golden Heart would not get a call, I told myself, and there would be some excellent manuscripts among them.  I knew that was true–I’d judged some of them myself.

And at 8:30 the phone rang.  Out of Area, said the Caller ID.  I hardly ever answer Out of Area calls.  Yesterday I grabbed the phone and fumbled for the talk button.  My hand shook, and I’m sure I babbled incoherently at the lovely RWA board member who had called to tell me that Bathtub Jinn is indeed a finalist for the Golden Heart this year, in the paranormal category.

As much as I enjoyed my trip to New York last summer, I wasn’t planning to go to the RWA Conference in Anaheim this July, unless I had a really good excuse.  I can hardly think of a better one.  I’d better start making plans.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patricia O'Dea Rosen (@patodearosen)
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 17:44:11

    Make those plans, girlfriend. You are going to the Magic Kingdom!

    Congrats and hugs on your final, Kay. Get used to the spotlight.



  2. Cheryl Bolen
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 13:54:47

    I knew you were going to be one The Chosen again this year. Congratulations!



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