Last week I could not think of anything to post about. This week I get to post about the moon. Well, okay, not the moon, but a little statue called RITA®.
First, let me explain about the title of this blog: pregta or Rinant. I'm combining the word pregnant with the word RITA®. Four years ago, I was carrying my son Mikey. Truly, there is no way to compare the joy of being pregnant with the joy of getting a RITA® call, but there is a little bit of similarity afterwards.
Like, I'm driving to work and dodging traffic, coming to a standstill (I live in Phoenix, third largest city in the U.S.A) and suddenly I remember... I'm a RITA® finalist.
Like, I'm eating dinner, talking to my husband, trying to get my three-year-old to behave (Yes, I have an active child), and suddenly I remember... I should have ordered a salad. I have to buy a dress - hopefully in a smaller size - because I'm a RITA® finalist.
Like, I'm standing with friends, all of whom know I'm a writer but none of whom really understand the world (think church or work friends, seems all other friends ARE writers) and they ask what's new. I mention the Children's Bible Time that's starting next week, I mention only five more weeks of school, I mention our second go-round trying to get Mikey interested in Pottytraining, and I mention (and have to explain what it is) the RITA®. And, I remember... I am a RITA® finalist.
To me, being pregnant with Mikey was so amazing. I'd be driving to work and suddenly joy would just fill me. I'd put my hand on my stomach and look around at the other drivers. How could they not notice the REALLY happy motorist in their midst? I'd do the same in stores, restaurants, and in the middle of teaching a class. Each time I thought about the pregnancy, I was amazed and thankful to God all over again.
Finaling in the RITA® is affecting a bit the same way. I keep remembering and I'm amazed all over again. Of all my friends who entered, I think I expected it the least. Lisa Mondello mentioned to me that Tuesday morning that "Calls are going out." I promptly forgot. When my cell phone rang at 10:25, I was in my office five minutes away from teaching a comp class. When Jill St. John said, "I'm calling from RWA..." My first thought was, "Oh, the Desert Rose chapter is having a contest next weekend. They must have a question." Then, she said, "Your book, Pursuit of Justice, is a RITA® finalist."
I about fell over. I did make a lot of noise (apparently, according to my coworkers, a lot of noise). And, promptly I made three quick phone calls: best friend, editor, and agent.
Then I went off to teach a class to 24 students who'd never heard of the RITA®.
I am humbled by the nomination. I've always called Pursuit of Justice my lucky book. I started it about six years ago. And, every time I tried to work on it, I sold something (a novella, a prayer book, etc). Finally, when I got Steve Laube as my agent, he took the first three chapters and sold it, and I finally got to finish the thing!
So, above is what finaling for the RITA® means to me. How I feel about it.