January 11, 2011 – Orlando, FL
This was the final full day of the conference.
We started early again, gathering together to listen to the sensational KG MacGregor share her keynote speech with us. What a spectacular speech! As always, KG was charming, witty, poignant, and inspirational. This, my friends, is a class woman. It’s difficult to summarize what she said during her speech…I just remember the feelings, the sense of what I was experiencing. I thoroughly believe that we were experiencing a speech by a future GCLS Trailblazer, I truly do. The end result of the presentation was that KG made us all cry. All of us.
After a break, we moved into the membership meeting. This is the typical “end of the conference” meeting that lets the membership know how things are going, what projects are going on right now, where the organization will go in the future, etc. Mom and I had to duck out early.
Why did Mom and I have to duck out early? Because, I am an idiot.
When I was asked to be a presenter at the awards ceremony, I decided that I needed to make sure I dressed well for the event. So I picked out what I wanted to wear and even bought new shoes. And then, I left my pants at home. I brought everything else, but not my pants. UGH! I thought, “oh well, I’ll just have to wear a pair of my nicer capri pants – there’s a pretty relaxed ‘dress code’ for the awards ceremony.” Then, I realized that I would be standing next to Renee Bess during the awards…I totally didn’t want to look like a schlump.
So, Mom and I ducked out early so that we could find a mall and buy me new pants.
Because of the aforementioned ducking out, we didn’t get to attend the afternoon panels.
THE AWARDS PRESENTATION!!
This is the BIG night. The 2011 Goldie Awards. Thirty two people would walk away with awards.
I’m not precisely sure why, but we didn’t get to go into the room until 8:10pm. The doors were supposed to open at 7:30pm and the awards were to start at 8:00pm. So, we started the evening by running late. Everyone had to shake a tail feather and find seats quickly.
The first major event of the evening was the tribute to Lost Sisters – community members who passed away since the last conference. Pam Butler was the first of the five women celebrated. I knew Pam. She and I shared a cabin on the Y-Tour cruise in February 2010. We didn’t get to know each other really, really well, but I did consider her a friend. She was such a friendly, fun-loving person. She’s dearly missed.
Mary Hettel, the Awards Administrator, explained how the awards work – from nomination to judging.
Then, it was time for awards!! Here’s the list of the winners in each category:
Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires – Miryam Kabakov
Red Rover – Liz Bugg
Rip Van Dyke – kate McLachlan
Shadow Point – Amy Briant
Something To Believe – Robbi McCoy
The Side Door – Jan Donley
Whatever Gods May Be – Sophia Kell Hagin
Eyes On The Stars – Lynn Ames
Mephisto Aria – Justine Saracen
Soiled Dove – Brenda Adcock
Lesbian Lust – Sacchi Green
From A Distance – CL Hart
Of Course It’s Murder – Kate Sweeney
Watermark – J.M. Redmann
Rip Van Dyke – Kate McLachlan
River Walker – Cate Culpepper
Echo & Lightening – Sheila Packa
White Shirt – Laurie MacFayden
Above Temptation – Karin Kallmaker
Devil’s Rock – Gerri Hill
Missing Lynx – Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou
SHORT STORIES/ESSAYS/COLLECTIONS (Non-erotica)
For Frying Out Loud – Fay Jacobs
Frosting On The Cake: 2nd Helpings – Karin Kallmaker
Bourn’s Edge – Barbara Davies
More Than An Echo – Linda Kay Silva
Nigredo – Alex Mykals
TRADITIONAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Always Faithful – Isabella
Photographs of Claudia – KG MacGregor
Starting From Scratch – Georgia Beers
ANN BANNON POPULAR CHOICE
Starting From Scratch – Georgia Beers
The full list of finalists can be found at the Golden Crown Literary Society website.
The number one highlight of the evening for me was presenting the award for Traditional Contemporary Romance to Georgia Beers. I received a wonderful hug and a kiss on the cheek from Georgia. If you’re not familiar with Georgia, check out her website (it’s on the list to the right). She’s a wonderful, delightful woman who is just so humble and gracious. I also finally got to meet Georgia’s wife, Bonnie. Lordy, Lordy! Those two women make quite the striking couple!!
Karin Kallmaker received the Trailblazer award for 2011. Truly, truly deserved. The very first lesbian fiction novel I ever purchased was by Karin Kallmaker – Substitute for Love. I was able to have Karin autograph it for me at the conference. Because of Karin, I was introduced to writing about me and others like me. Because of Karin, I became re-addicted to reading. Because of Karin, I was exposed to other writers who wrote about me and others like me. So, yes, Karin – Lee was talking about you, no one else.
After the awards, we had a bit of a break. I used this to go up to the room and change into more comfortable clothes. When I returned to the ballroom, the dance was under way. Everyone spent the next couple of hours congratulating winners, dancing, and having a good time. But, finally, it was time for bed – I was pooped!
All-in-all, it was a good day. A really good day.