Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In this blog's grand tradition of starting but not following through on things, you were probably not expecting me to update you on the Lambda Literary Awards, the subsequent adulation, the parade in my honor, et cetera.

Truth be told, you were almost right about that. I started to write up the past few days several times, and each time I hit a block. I am such a stereotypical author...

My recap from last Friday pretty much sums up my Lammy experience. It was an amazing night, and the shock lingered for a few days. It was also a very humbling experience on several levels.

Frankly, it's awkward to be singled out as 'best' when you're in competition with so many people you respect. I conceptually understand why we have competitions -- they do help heighten interest, and, well, someone's got to separate the wheat from the chaff -- but the opinion of a select group of judges in any art form is hardly an objective measure of talent and/or story-yelling abilities. I mean, I think Titanic was a great special effects movie, but Best Picture? You must be fucking kidding me.

It was also beyond humbling to stand on that stage on the same evening men and women like Martin Duberman, Joe Keenan, Robert Westfield, Kate Clinton, Alison Bechdel, Christopher Rice, Greg Herren, Charles Flowers, Bob Smith, and so many other prominent figures in LGBT writing and publishing stood there. That is not the company I keep, and -- in a sense -- I felt as if I was intruding at a party where I didn't belong.

Lest you think any of this went to my head, let me assure you that, by the weekend, life was back to normal. I was cleaning the apartment, dining on elegant tuna fish sandwiches, drinking cheap wine, and reading bad reviews of When the Stars Come Out on random blogs. (Thank you, asshole bloggers, for helping to keep me grounded.)

Here's what I really treasure about this weekend: the opportunity to finally meet Becky Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert; to see Greg Herren and David Puterbaugh again; to spend time with the gang from Kensington Publishing and Hastings Entertainment; to get acquainted with Ted Gideonse, Rob Williams, and a number of other people; and to maybe make a bit of an ass of myself at the Lambda Literary Awards ceremony, which ordinarily wouldn't be something to treasure, but it came from the excitement, so at least it was an honest reaction. That moment that Greg Herren (now official rid of his title as the Susan Lucci of the Lammys) and I emotionally embraced as I walked off the stage is burned in my memory, and we probably wouldn't have even gotten yelled at for disrupting the ceremony if Becky hadn't gotten involved. I can't remember what she was doing, but it must have been noisy and very distracting to the other 300 people trying to pay attention to whatever was happening back on the stage.

Oh, and I have something to say to Becky and Tim: next year, in West Hollywood, I will be the first person applauding when your names (and that of co-writer Jim Carter) are announced as the authors of the Best Gay Romance 2007 for the next 'Timothy James Beck' novel. It was a pleasure to meet you both, and I hope I didn't scare you too much with, you know, the casual alcoholism and rampant narcissism. You didn't think that was just an act I was putting on for readers of this blog, did you?

One last thing before we bring these reflections on the Lambda Literary Awards to a close. Stolen from Becky (one of these days I should learn to carry a camera; follow her link for more pictures) is this photo of the actual award, festooned with my well-traveled-but-never-used badge from Saints & Sinners. Enjoy!