Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There Will Be Tears

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Another RWA National Conference is over and yer olde Aunty is home again, exhausted but happy because it was all SO MUCH FUN!

Well, mostly... except for all those huge emotional highs and lows that happened constantly. Yup, it happens to me at every conference, and I know I'm not the only one. (Aunty raises an eyebrow at her CasaBabes/Sisters.) This year's conference in Washington DC was no exception.

Everyone who has been on this blog for more than five minutes knows that yer olde Aunty has a reputation for being a "tough cookie." I write about murder, mahem and things that go boom. Aunty does not like mornings (as several of the CasaBabes will now testify after seeing with their own eyes) and makes no secret of it. Aunty carries a whip (only a tiny little riding crop) and knows how to use it! That is why, to my everlasting chagrin, at some point in every RWA conference, I find myself tearful, and this year it happened again... several times, in fact!

It all started with Janet Evanovich and her opening remarks. Janet is one of Aunty's idols in the "tough cookie" department. Imagine my shock when Janet actually teared up while talking about the ten years it took her to sell her first book. How she had to take temporary jobs so she could afford to buy clothes and shoes for her kids. And then, when she was at one of her lowest ebbs, she came home and her husband said, "Your editor called." Janet honked into her tissue and so did Aunty!

Linda Howard did not help the situation. Her hilarious accounts of her "nutty" family had Aunty and everyone else wiping away the tears of laughter. I swear, I didn't know this before, but after hearing Linda's account of her mother's purse, we MUST be related somehow. My mother had a purse just like that! Well, maybe not with pork chops...

The next day, Eloisa James left not a dry eye in the ballroom when she talked about her daughter, born premature and weighing all of "...one pound and change." And when she talked about seeing her mother for the last time, I'm afraid I must admit, yer olde Aunty turned into a real water works.

Finally, the big Rita/Golden Heart Awards ceremony arrived and Aunty packed tissues in her purse in anticipation, even though I was determined not to mess up my artfully applied make-up.

I WILL NOT BLUBBER
became my rallying shout.

Alas...

The Golden Heart winner who tearfully exclaimed that she'd just sold "on Wednesday" had Aunty's nose itching. I reached for the tissues, "just in case." The other winner who described the heroic attributes of her husband made Aunty's throat clog up. Then came the Ritas, and Aunty fought back the tears through one heartfelt acceptance after another. But when Kathleen Creighton's absentee acceptance was read aloud, Aunty's sniffling started. And I fought bravely to keep it at the sniffle level until Gwen Cready dedicated her Rita to her deceased sister and ended by saying, "today's her birthday."

That did it! Aunty couldn't hold back any longer. I BLUBBERED away right along with everyone else!

What about you? Do speeches sometimes move you to tears? Which ones? Aunty and the other CasaBabes would love to know!

23 comments:

  1. There were tons of blubber worthy moments, AC. Good to know they broke through your tough outer shell of cynicism (what I love best about you)! LOL! Crack that whip, woman! Make em cry and then make em pay!

    Sooooooo good to see you. Remember what I said about losing our virginity together... LOL

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  2. I was blubbering right along with you, AC! I saw Eloisa James while I was waiting for a taxi to the airport and someone spoke to her and I just had to add that she made me cry--along with every other speaker.
    Good writers know how to get your emotions going, but I'll admit, I'd much rather laugh!

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  3. I wasn't at conference, but I've been more than teary-eyed over comments from fellow online writing students asking how my mother is doing. And then I fall to pieces. And I have to go to work in a few minutes and can't do this right now! :(

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  4. I'm not much of a crier but I did get a kick out of everyone else. Everywhere I looked, people were wiping teary eyes. I think crying is as contagious as yawning. Still, I seem to be relatively immune.

    It was great seeing everyone at nationals. I got through a conference without shedding a tear. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

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  5. Like Robin, I'm not much of a crier (I really only cry when I'm insanely frustrated--and it take quite a bit)--but all of the speakers you mentioned definitley left me with a lump in my throat! And then everytime someone recognized me from the workshop or the SB Spotlight--my heart went pitter patter!

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  6. I cry at the National Anthem. You can imagine what state I was in, especially during the Rita/GHs. Talk about heartfelt moments!

    I did get choked up, as well, when the CasaBabes were taking the limo pictures. What a great group and I'm so bummed that we have to wait until next year!!! Deb, Dom, Danielle, I think we need a SB author retreat weekend! :)

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  7. You're just figuring that out now, Robin? SNORT! Sorry couldn't resist! It was a softball!

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  8. Tears, Cindy?!? No can do. They make the makeup messy! :-)

    You are such a sweet, beautiful woman I can certainly understand why touching stories make you cry.

    I'm already looking forward to seeing you next year!

    Amelia

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  9. Morning All!

    As you can see, Aunty is almost back to normal... not making an appearance until after NOON! :-)

    Okay my Evil Twin, since YOU brought it up, I'm leaving it to YOU to explain the virginity remark.

    AC

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  10. Nice to know I had PLENTY of company, Cheryl! And you're right, who better than romance writers to wring the emotion from a situation?

    I'd much rather laff too. Crying makes my nose red and my eyes puffy, sooo not a good look on Aunty!

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  11. It's okay, Terry.

    I totally understand.

    Mentioning Moms became one of my 'water works' buttons after I lost mine.

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  12. Robin,
    I think you're right about crying being contagious. Otherwise yer olde Aunty would certainly never shed a tear!

    Okay, okay, you all know the truth... DARN! If it has to do with animals or small children (okay, and Moms) then I turn into weepy. :-P I usually blame it on hormones. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

    AC

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  13. Danielle,

    I cry the most when I am angry or frustrated. And then I cry more because I'm angry at myself for crying... A VICIOUS CYCLE!

    Isn't being recognized just the KEWLEST?!?! Every time someone asked me, "Are you Aunty Cindy?" it put a BIG OLE GRIN on my face.

    AC

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  14. Judi,

    An SB author retreat is a GREAT IDEA! Maybe in Chicago? I absolutely LURVE the Field Museum! It is THE BEST in my opinion, and remember, I've been in tons of museums all over the world.

    So Judi, since I didn't see you resembling the poor girl pictured in my post, I guessing you've found a good waterproof mascara. DEETS, girl! What brand?!?!

    AC

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  15. Amelia,

    SHHHHH! Stop trying to ruin Aunty's "tough cookie" image by calling me sweet! Of course, if you pour me another flute of champagne, all bets are off!

    Nashville can NOT get here soon enough!

    AC

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  16. I am so glad you brought this up. I have tried to focus on the WOW moments, those parts that were fun and entertaining. But the various speeches were so moving and bolstered my spirits in a very profound way. Every single moment you mentioned had me fighting the tears, often quite unsuccessfully. Somehow just hearing Janet Evanovich talk about her trials and then tearing up even after all these years when she remembered "the call" was a defining moment for me.

    All of it was simply unbelievable.

    And Auntie, we know you are a softie under all the bluster and cracking whip! But your secret will remain safe with us. :)

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  17. Hey Sharon,

    I have NO IDEA where you came up with the ridiculous notion that Aunty might be soft... MUST I bring out the crop AGAIN?!?! Aunty is beginning to suspect you LIKE it when I do. ;-)

    I guess it is true that misery loves company because I too LOVE to hear that even a super star like Janet had her own trials and tribulations before she hit the big time. Plus, her favorite swear word is the same as mine! Who knew!?!

    AC

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  18. I tried my hardest not to blubber at Janet Evanovich's speech, and then I choked at Linda Howard's but I didn't cry. It was Eloisa James' that had me near tears, but only because I've stood on the sidelines as family members held onto their child's hands praying each day for another glimpse of their beautiful eyes. Battles were lost and battles were won.

    Jeannie Lin's announcement as she accepted her GH award had me shuddering and I was in a near full out sob, wishing I had brought Kleenex when Gwyn Cready spoke. This was my first RWA, next year I'll know to pack the tissues.

    It was so very nice to meet you and your whip, Aunty Cindy.

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  19. Hey Renee!

    Wonderful to meet you face to face also! I hope your first RWA National Conference lived up to your expectations. Looking forward to seeing you next year in Nashville!

    AC

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  20. I'm a known crier so I always stuff tissues into my purse. All the moments you mentioned had me wiping away the tears, especially Gwyn Cready at the GH/RITA ceremony. All the women in my row were scrambling to find a tissue after that acceptance!

    It was a great conference and I'm so happy I finally had the opportunity to meet you in person!

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  21. Those all sound pretty tear-worthy to me. Them as don't cry don't know why.

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  22. Hey PJ!

    It was FANTASTIC to meet you face-to-face too! Can't thank you enough for the terrific chocolates!

    Yes, I'm afraid Gwyn ruined a lot of make-up on Saturday night!

    AC

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  23. Sheila said: "Them as don't cry don't know why."

    GOOD ONE! Are you listening Robin?!?!

    Thanx for popping by, Sheila!

    AC

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