Blogs by Barbara Forte Abate
Queen for a Day
4/5/2011 8:56:14 AM
When I was in 6th grade at Alden Place school in Millbrook New York, I won 1st place for the best costume at the Girl Scouts Halloween party. It's one of those cherished memories that, incredibly, has actually remained intact inside a head that's become host to an increasingly faulty memory. I'd dressed-up as a little old lady and the prize was a jewelry holder: A folding plastic ladder with holes in the rungs to hold earrings, a little tray at the top for rings, and a perfectly darling plastic silver poodle resting on a red velvet cushion at the base. I was thrilled with my treasure and for good reason, not simply because I absolutely adored it, but it marked the last time I carried home the prize.
But then several days ago I was notified that my novel, The Secret of Lies, had won 2nd place in the Royal Dragonfly Book Award Contest, in the category of Newbie Fiction. It's very possible that I may have sprang through the house in wild abandon on a current of abundant joy -- I may have -- but my immediate reaction remains something of a blur. What I do vividly recall is how terrified I was to scan the list of winners for my name, fully unsure what I expected or dared hope for.
Honestly, but that's just the way it is. I'm not someone who wins stuff. For me, buying a 50/50 ticket is a donation, because I well know and understand that the numbers in my hand will not match those printed on the winning ticket. The squares on my Bingo card will never fill-up with the letters announced by the caller. Just as my scratch-off lottery tickets will not have three matching cherries, leprechauns, or treasure chests once the silver squares are scratched off with a coin. Nearly all of my Field Day ribbons that I've kept in a cigar box from my school days are bright yellow -- 5th place. And I mention this not because of any particular sense of heartbreak or long-running pity party. It's just the customary state-of-the-union. It is what it is. (And I happen to love the color yellow.)
Only now there's this -- the winning ticket, the second runner to cross the line, silver medal looped around my neck. Does this award which has arrived on the wings of unsurpassed joy somehow help to validate my work as a writer? Yes, no...well maybe. Though it could just as well be nothing so deep as that it feels good. Really. It just feels pretty good.
Yup, definitely, Queen for a Day
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More Blogs by Barbara Forte Abate
A VISIT TO:THE NEW YORK SCREENWRITING LIFE - Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Writer in Training - Tuesday, August 02, 2011
My Life For Sale - Thursday, July 07, 2011
Comrades of The Pen - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Reject Rejection - Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Watching Yourself a Little Too Closely - Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Great Agent Quest - Guest Post - Monday, April 25, 2011
Pile Up on Information Highway - Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A Novel Road Trip - Thursday, April 07, 2011
Queen for a Day - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The Question of Social Media - Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Joy of Reading - Saturday, February 12, 2011
If You Love a Writer - Thursday, February 10, 2011
Spring Fever - Wednesday, February 09, 2011
In the Not So Distant Future - Saturday, January 08, 2011
Hopeful Perseverence - Thursday, October 28, 2010