By Gillian Doyle
As I am writing this blog, Iâ€™m listening to the wonderful voice of Jina Bacarr reading my written words on our OCC/RWA Podcast, still amazed and grateful for all that has happened since I sat down to write that blog for the Twenty-five Days of Romance.
First, the day the blog posted, I had my hair cut short and restyled. When my dear sweet husband came home from work, he had the biggest smile on his face. For a guy who loves long hair, I thought this was a great compliment of my short sassy cut. I kept catching him watching me with that big olâ€™ silly grin.
I finally said, â€œYou really like my hair, huh?â€
His grin grew bigger. â€œActually, I keep thinking of that blog. Brought back a lot of memories.â€
Gee, had I only known that my writing, not my haircut, could get such a reaction, I couldâ€™ve saved myself a wad of dough!!
Then my daughter emailed from another state, saying sheâ€™d never heard this story before and was wondering if it was true or just one of my great fiction pieces! I assured her it was true. Then I asked Don for his side. He told me heâ€™d dropped by the mail room to see me, not always to help Rubye.
I guess she knew that.
A few weeks later, between planes in the Seattle airport on Tuesday, March 7, I heard the surprising news over my cellphone from Co-President Mindy Neff that my blog had won! Call me a romantic, but I canâ€™t help thinking Rubye is up there somewhere, still working her fairy godmother magic. With her so much on my mind lately, I went in search of that packet of letters and photos stored in my antique humpback â€œTreasure Chest.â€ Nestled inside her daughterâ€™s letter was a forgotten newspaper clipping of her passing with her photo. As I read Don came into my office and looked over my shoulder.
I found names of her five children, including her daughter Virginia Sears, who lives in Spokane now. Wouldnâ€™t it be nice if she and her siblings could find their way to our OCC website, to know how their mother lives on in my family…and now with all of you?
Thanks to this real-life fairy tale, I have been motivated to enter the Orange Rose contest. It has been eight years since my last sale, and the contest is now open to writers who have not published in the last five years. (DEADLINE for entry is APRIL 8, for any of you who might be interested! (http://occrwa.com/contest.htm )
I was also asked for a PR photo, which prompted me to get on the ball and have a new one taken. I contacted our Orange Blossom co-editor Michele Cwiertny for advice on PR photos, and, serendipitously, she had just finished the April cover article on this exact topic. I was granted a sneak peak, and let me tell you right here and now that itâ€™s terrific! Great pointers! (Hint: Think THEME!) Then her wonderful husband Eric offered to help me out by taking some pix. Eric is a graphic artist by trade, and a photographer by hobby. Thanks to him, my new favorite word is â€œAaammmaaaazing!â€ He is a magician with photo shop. â€˜Nuff said. Or maybe itâ€™s just Rubye hovering over his shoulder?
Thanks to Marianne Donleyâ€™s recommendation, Iâ€™m taking a Web Building Class that is going to help me put those photos into a brand new website for GillianDoyle.com when Iâ€™m finished. If any of you are interested in this excellent class, http://www.ed2go.com/sce/index.html.
Although I have sent my note of appreciation to Silhouette Executive Editor Mary-Theresa Hussey for taking the time to judge our Twenty-five Days of Romance Blog contest and for choosing â€œFairy Tales Do Come Trueâ€, I canâ€™t write the finale without expressing my thankfulness once more. Mary-Theresa, you are a gem among gems!
Finally, a special added thank-you to the publicity/marketing genius of Louise Ahern, our Orange Blossom Co-Editor, who brought up the idea of the Twenty-Five Days of Romance blogs and contest. Louise has brought a ton of fabulous ideas to the table for OCC to offer Opportunity, Creativity and Community to our members. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to write for the Slice of Orange blog. I hope more OCC members will grab this chance to stir your creative juices!
Is this the Finale? I donâ€™t know. It seems more like just the beginning!
What about you? Do you have a Fairy-Tale-Come-True story in you? If not, be your very own fairy godmother — wave your magic wand and make your writing dreams come true!
Author of Paranormal Suspense
Gillian, your “finale” is so heartwarming. I loved the picture of Rubye, and I, too, wish her daughters could see your wonderful tribute to this lady who was such a big part of yours and Don’s love story.
Su–uhm…Gillian, Thank you for your final comments. I always love happy endings.
Your excitement is contagious! And you’re right, Eric is a doll. He made me look good and that was a feat given that the morning of the contest I was stressing under a deadline and had five hours of sleep the night before!
Michele, if you’re out there, you have a great guy!
And Gillian, I can’t wait to hear more good news in the future!
Gillian–I’m thrilled for you! This is definitely the beginning of something exciting.
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