All the Feels!

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Damon Suede, who made the Call and presented me with my finalist certificate ❤

It’s 5 am the day of the Golden Heart awards, and I’m wide wake. I arrived with my fellow London GH® Finalist Scarlett Peckham on Tuesday evening, and it’s been a whirlwind of Golden Heart events and getting to know our attending 2017 GH class.

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Me & Scarlett Peckham

I meant to write a post long before today about what it means for me to be a GH Finalist, but life had other plans for my time. My 101 year old Grandma passed (peacefully surrounded by family), we moved house (twice), school holidays kicked in, and our kitchen decided to have a pool party under the floorboards which resulted in emergency excavation/demolition. So between momming and project managing and family commitments, I’ve been woefully behind in my writing life.

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Kitchen madness

But this morning jet lag has delivered the gift of time and I thought I’d take the opportunity to ruminate on this Golden Heart® ride.

As most of my Rebelle sisters mention, writing can be a lonely endeavour. And being in London without a local RWA chapter made me feel even more removed from my writing community. Most of the classes I take are online, based in the US. And most of my writing colleagues are based stateside, too. Through the IGO contest, I met my wonderful paranormal writing buddy, Jilly Wood who’s just won the Daphne Award for her fabulous paranormal story The Transformation of Alexis Doe. (Congrats Jilly!!) We meet up for coffee and talk craft. She’s the one who suggested I enter in the first place and I will be forever grateful to Jilly for encouraging me to jump down the GH rabbit hole.

I almost didn’t come to Nationals, but boy oh boy I am so glad I did. For me, the GH nomination was most about the people–about connecting with fellow finalists and being here in person, meeting the women I’d been chatting with online almost every day for the past few months, has been the treat of a lifetime.

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At GH rehearsal

Our group is protective of each other, supportive, kind, generous. Talented, ambitious, empathetic, encouraging. Seriously, I couldn’t ask for more. Everyday I learn something from these clever, funny, and belly-laugh inducing Rebelles. Melonie Faith Johnson inspires me to never break the chain! Jo Anne Banker and Heather Leonard–amazing wingmen! Kim, Christy, and Chris–you guys have been the crux of my sanity over the past few months. Kim especially who ALWAYS has time for my writing related panics. Tracy Brody for pulling us all together to begin with, and making sure we’re loved up with brownies. ❤ Katie my fellow London homie (innit?), and my Bonnet Creek roomies.

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Paranormal peeps from L to R: Janet Halpin, Grace Adams, moi, Kari W Cole

An added bonus has been the RWA new format for the GH this year. I have to say that has also exceeded every expectation. We had an agent/editor meet and greet which was great fun, we got to meet the wonderful RWA board who make the GH possible (including the dashing and super lovely Damon Suede who Called me to tell me I was a GH Finalist), and we’ve had plenty of opportunity to hang out and get to know not just fellow Rebelles, but GH nominees and winners from years past as well as Rita nominees!

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Me, Nicole Hohmann, Scarlett Peckham and Kari W Cole

I fully expect the ups and downs of the query trenches to make me nauseous (I can’t ride teacups much less a rollercoaster), and I’m pretty sure I’ll have many an opportunity to weep and wallow in tubs of Lupo’s gelato (or Jeni’s ice cream. Her stuff is the bomb!).  But knowing I can count on the Rebelles to hold my hair while I puke, or take up spoons and gelato-wallow with me makes all the difference. For me the GH is all about the feels, And our class has it in spades. ❤

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