BETTER WITH A FRIEND
The phone rang Friday night. I looked at the caller ID like I always do, and it said UNKNOWN. When I see an UNKNOWN, my heart rate always kicks up a beat because that's what it says when someone is calling from WestBow. But it's 8:30 at night so it can't be my publisher. All this is speeding through my head even as I punch in the button.
"Hello," I say.
I don't recognize the voice so I immediately think it's a telemarker. "Yes," I answer cautiously.
"This is XXX. I'm calling about the Holt Medallion."
I immediately sit upright in my chair. I've finaled in the Holt! "Whoohoo!" I say. "What fabulous news! Thank you, thank you!" She's laughing. It's fun to get a call with that kind of news, but here's where it REALLY gets fun. "Who else is a finalist?" I ask.
"Let's see, I guess it's okay to tell you now. Dorothy Clark, Lyn Cote, and Hannah Alexander," she says.
I whoohoo again. "Hannah Alexander is one of my dear friends."
"Oh and Diann Hunt."
My jaw drops. "Di finaled too?" I dance out of my chair and scream loud enough to bust the girls eardrum. Now you have to understand, Di didn't think she'd stand a chance. She didn't want to enter and I twisted her arm.
"Yes for Hot Flashes and Cold Cream."
I scream again, and I think the woman is getting tired of hearing me shriek in her ear. "Oh my goodness, does she know yet?" I'm thinking if she knows and hasn't called me, she is in SO much trouble.
"Give me ten minutes," XXX says. "I'll call her right now."
I give her eight. But Di's not home. I try her cell and get the dreaded, "The party you are trying to reach..." I call back to her house and leave a message. "Di, call me right away." I don't want to give the surprise away.
Then I pace the floor. Twenty minutes later the phone rings.
"Why are you calling me?" Di whispers in the phone. She's at the coffee house.
"Did you get another call?" I ask.
She starts hyperventilating. "How did you know?" she whispers as she walks outside so she can scream.
"I GOT A CALL TOO!" I shout. "Distant Echoes finaled in the long inspie and Shadow Bones in the short."
She begins to break my eardrum with her screams. And I suspect we're BOTH jumping up and down. I know I am.
That's what makes this life so fun. There's always someone to share your joy with. You never know what a new phone call will bring. Kristin and Denise were right there to share our excitement with us, and congratulations came pouring in from our our other friends.
Are you making good friends who are there to savor your triumphs and cry with your rejections? If not, go find them. They're out there. There is so much joy in the journey. Diann bought me a picture frame to put in a pic of the two of us on our RV trip. It says JOURNEY along the bottom and then has the verse, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." It was the verse God gave me after a particularly painful rejection. At the time I didn't realize the best part of that hope and future was that I'd get to walk it with great friends!
I thank God for you all! You make the journey more beautiful than I ever dreamed.