Wednesday, May 9, 2018

ARRA Award Thoughts

On this blog, I've tried to document my writing journey without too much censorship. Today's post is rather macabre, and also somewhat personal, so please be gentle with me.

I was stunned to see Team Player announced as ARRA's 2017 Favourite Erotic Romance. It was unexpected in the company I was keeping.

Team Player isn't a conventional story. It's written in first person, present tense, which so many readers hate. It's a MMF threesome without a submissive in the relationship. I was deliberately striving to create a threesome where each person had equal standing, if not at the beginning then by the ending, yet I know that's not conventional. It features sportsmen. It's quite explicit and raw in the descriptions of the sex, and I know some people had trouble reading it - the MM sex in particular. It hardly seemed the type of story that would win. However, I'm ecstatic that it did!

After the initial thrill at seeing my name, a sense of dread crept in, which has taken a few days to unravel.

In 2003, I won an award for best paper at a work conference. It was the pinnacle of my career. Such a huge accolade. I was completely blown away as I didn't know they presented best paper awards so had not even dreamed of it. It was before the time of mobile phones, and so by the time the event was over it was after 10 pm, too late to ring anyone and tell them.

I was working for a farmer group and our trial (which I had not been involved with during the planning, I came to it later) was quite unconventional. It excited me because of that. It was asking tough questions and was a huge undertaking. I loved the challenge of that. To win an award, to have people notice this work was a huge achievement. I thought we (our farmer-led research group) were destined for great things. (There are some similarities here, right?)

My Mum died that night, a few hours later. I woke in the morning to a phone call from Dad. My award was overshadowed by loss.

All of last Sunday, I kept expecting something terrible to happen. I'd won an award, surely a smashing defeat would come next, obliterating any excitement and joy. I waited... and waited.

It didn't come.

What came instead was this whopping realisation that I equated success with grief - a win with defeat

Damn it.

I knew I feared success more than failure...but I had no conscious understanding of why I feared success. Now I know.

Next comes the breaking down of those fears.

I'll have to dig out my 2003 trophy (that's buried in a filing cabinet) and place it with this beauty. I'll have to remain mindful of the pride and joy associated with each achievement, separate to sad events that surround each award.

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