by Shirley Bahlmann
I recently returned from the Storymaker Conference in Salt Lake City. What a literary blast! I was energized by all the presenters, the committees, and the AWARDS!
There were several gift baskets and awards, one of the most notable given by Authors Incognito, an on-line group open to anyone who attends a Storymaker Conference. After their entertaining skit, they gave an award for the most rejections (which interestingly enough also coincided with the most published work) to (drum roll) Cindy Beck!
You may not know Cindy, but she is part of my writing class, so I clapped until my hands hurt. They held up the wondrous award and looked around the room, panning from one side to the other. My heart began beating faster. Where was Cindy? Why wasn't she jumping up and dancing on the table for joy? The presenter lowered his arm. Oh, no! Cindy's award was in danger of being un-presented! But I could take it to her. I could personally put it into her ink-stained hands and give her a "Hooray!" hug besides. So I stood up and hurried toward the front of the room, ready to say, "I'll take it!" but then I felt a lump under my shoe. I turned, horrified to see that I has just stepped on a young lady's foot. This made me feel especially bad since she was petite and had left her steel toed boots at home. I, on the other hand, am six feet tall and pushing more pounds than I care to mention.
I bent down, looked her in the eye, and said, "I am so sorry."
She took a breath, then gave me a trembly smile and said, "That's okay."
I knew it wasn't. But what else would she say? "Watch where you're going, you big lummox!" She didn't seem to be the type.
I turned back to see the presenter stepping down off the stage. The emcee moved to the microphone. I stood there awkwardly for a moment, my heart sinking, as Cindy's marvelous award disappeared into the crowd.
Beware award fever. It can strike anyone, anywhere, even if the award doesn't have your name on it. And you may forever carry an unwanted brand, something like "The Six Foot Tall Foot Stomper." That's gonna be a hard one to live down.
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