Monday, March 31, 2008

The Whitney Awards—From Someone Who Wasn’t There

By C.L. Beck
© 2008

No schtick, no humor. For once, I’m going to talk about something serious—the Whitney Awards. Fellow blogger, Keith Fisher, attended and he wrote about the experience yesterday (Sunday). However, I thought you’d also like the viewpoint from someone who wasn’t there.

Being old fogies, my husband, Russ, and I collapsed in our hotel room, three floors above the Whitney Gala Awards, just before they started. Our minds and bodies were totally worn out from the intensive schedule of the LDStorymakers’ Conference.

I was certain I wouldn’t miss climbing into a dress, squeezing into a pair of panty hose and trying to walk in a pair of heels to attend the awards. Doing the "dress up" routine once a week on Sunday is one day out of seven too many, in my book. And I haven’t been interested in a big awards ceremony, like the Academy Awards, since Ben Kingsley (Ghandi) defeated Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie) for best actor. Remember, I’m a humor writer, so I wouldn’t be as awed by some guy running around with a shaved head and wearing a sheet, as I would be by some guy running around with a coiffed, red wig, and wearing a dress.

But I digress …

To my surprise, I felt bad missing the Whitneys. Authors that I knew well, and some not known so well, were down there, three floors below. They were being honored for contributing to LDS literature. It was a big deal. In my opinion, a much bigger deal than the Academy Awards have ever been.

Just by sheer luck, I clicked on Marsha Ward’s blog, The Writer in the Pines, and discovered that Tristi Pinkston, Matthew Buckley, Jaime Theler, and Hilary Blair were running a live blog of the event, complete with photos and comments.

As I lay in bed, reading their words, I could hear muffled sounds below where Rob Wells emceed, Jeff Savage told jokes, presentors declared nominations . . . and after tense moments, announced the winners. If my pajamas had buttons, I would have burst them—that’s how proud I felt of everyone. From our room high above the events, Russ and I cheered when some of our favorite authors won, moaned when some of our favorites lost, and became teary-eyed as we read that Jennie Hansen, Anita Stansfield and Dean Hughes were given life-time achievement awards.

It was the best awards ceremony that I’ve never attended.

I’d like to express appreciation to the Whitney committee for thinking of live blogs, and thank Marsha for posting the link. Lastly, I am so grateful to Tristi, Matthew, Jaime and Hilary for willingly taking their eyes off the resplendent gowns, smart-looking tuxedos, and glowing faces long enough to share the joy with those who sat reading the live comments, three floors above.

4 comments:

Marsha Ward said...

I'm so glad my announcement was useful to you and brought you joy. That's awesome!

C. L. Beck said...

Marsha,
Yes, if not for you, I would have sat in my room, bemoaning the fact that I wasn't able to go to the Whitney Awards.

See what a help your blog is?

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey, you're very welcome! It was so much fun.

C. L. Beck said...

Tristi,
You're a sweetheart for doing the live blog.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.