By Robin Weaver
In the process of doing pirouettes in my office chair, I knocked over my coffee cup. And tie-dyed my favorite blazer with brown caffeine. Fortunately, I didn’t scorch any body parts because the stale Java had cooled while I’d tried to stay awake in meeting number one.
Unfortunately, my jacket was a pale ecru. I completed my new look by running fingers through my hair, and dislodging the casual topknot I’d spent a half-hour arranging.

Our superwoman office manager rushed in after my screech to see if she should call the paramedics. She took one look at my wild eyes and gyrating body and backed away. Very slooowly. “Eh…Robin…they’re waiting on you in the conference room.”

Crap.

I was one minute late for meeting number two, but I had to call my husband. After all, he’d been a paragon of support, a searcher for bad grammar, the guy I usually killed off in chapter one.
After his “CONGRATULATIONS, BABE!” I waved my hands in the air, even though DH couldn’t see me. I didn’t notice that I still held breakfast in my fingers (an open baggie full of heart-healthy Cheerios). Little rings of oats went flying willy-nilly all over my office.
The crunching noises only briefly distracted me when I sat down.

DH was appropriately excited, but not surprised. Sharon had called my house first –obviously she had to get my office number. I hadn’t thought of that—getting the Golden Heart finalist call is a lot like eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s too fast. Your brain freezes. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.)

I hung up, now six minutes late for my meeting two. I desperately NEEDED to call my critique partners but tardiness curbed that urge. Fourteen eyes stared at me when I entered the conference room. I glanced at the clock. Eight minutes late. Not bad. I only have fifty-two minutes until I can call or IM my friends.

“Do you smell Cinnabon?” One of the guys asked. Did I mention the Cheerios were cinnamon flavored?

I have an awesome boss, but on March 25th, only blah, blah, blah came out of his mouth. To distract myself, I did a little foot-tapping beneath the table. We have really cool chairs in our conference room that totally rock--literally. The room grew silent. Those pesky eyes scrutinized me again so I stopped rocking. The blah, blah resumed.

I was so full of giggly, it wasn’t long before I was doing an Argentine Tango with my feet again.

“Do you have to go to the bathroom?” My boss turned crimson when he realized he’d let my squirming incite his introverted personality into an extroverted action. I swear, the toilet has never been mentioned in our conference room before. Ever. We’re southerners.

When the meeting FINALLY ended, my boss asked if I was okay. I assured him I was golden (FYI: I spent the entire day working golden and heart into every conversation). I’m guessing my boss went straight to his office and requested a drug screening for me.

After my escape, one of my peers blocked the path to my office. Grumble, grumble, groan. I had important instant messages to send.

“Are you all right?” she asked. Precious seconds ticked away, but my coworker is also a terrific friend. The closest she gets to fiction is re-reading her copy of The South Beach Diet, but I really wanted to share my good news.

Only…

As a writer, I’m bizarrely superstitious. I had to tell my critique group first.

“PMS,” I replied, which was technically true, because I was thinking Pretty Mind Staggering.

The acronym did the trick. My coworker bolted like I’d threatened her with a taser. Too bad all the concern over my health (a.k.a. sanity) had taken the precious minute I’d hoped to use to send a message to my critique partners. Since I was already unfashionably late, I hacked out a quick message. I think it said something like, “YIPPPPPEEE, I FANGLED IN GOLDEN HEAD!”

My third meeting was ninety minutes of drying paint. After surviving the agenda of torture, I ran to my office, eager for some news from my crew. The jog made me perspire, but I figured the coffee tie-dye would hide the sweat stains.

Bummer. No reply from my critique partners. Probably because I forgot to click “send” on the IM.

My next words were not blog appropriate. I made corrections and launched the message into cyberspace before hurrying to a previously scheduled business luncheon. Another snoozer that lasted seventeen hours—or at least fifty minutes.

Development glitches and design sessions kept me away from my desk until 5:00 p.m. My critique partners, Ginni, Martha, Ashantay and Sarah all sent wonderful replies—which I hastily perused (and even more hastily minimized when my boss came into my office). He pretended to ask about a production problem, but I suspect he was looking for a flask.

After I convinced him all systems were fully operational, I retrieved my cell phone. One more little call would add the chocolate frosting on my already fabulous (if somewhat less than well-groomed) day. My good friend Pam is a fellow writer and has shared a myriad of writing emotions. Since she moved to Texas, I couldn’t really call her long-distance from the office.
And my cell phone battery had died.

I sped through traffic and rushed into my house. After tripping over the cat, I grabbed the portable phone and hit speed dial. I forgot I really did need to visit the powder room.

Pam’s scream re-awakened the bats that had finally gotten back to sleep in the caverns. The moment I’d envisioned all day had FINALLY happened.

The surprise. The shared screech. A long-distance partnering in my happy little jitterbug. My friend understood what being a finalist in the GH meant.

My joy was complete.

Except…

I really should have gone to the bathroom first.


Note: The cat is no longer mad and, to my delight, Linda Lovely is also a GH finalist.
What do you think—are writing successes best shared with other writers?


Copyright © 2010 by Robin Weaver
Normally, I don’t check voice mail between meetings, but it was GH notification day. I had critiqued Linda Lovely’s GH entry and knew my friend had a real shot at being a finalist, so when the flashing light beckoned, I suspected she had great news and keyed in my passcode.

“This is Sharon Sala…”

My “YIPPPPEEE” probably woke the bats in the Carlsbad Caverns. I mean, Sharon is one of my favorite authors, so I was entitled to act like a teenager at a Springsteen concert, right?
 
(Did the Springsteen reference reveal my age? Eh….I meant at an Usher concert.)