Another Win

StormyJune Sky

Those of you who stop by every week noticed I didn’t post last week.  I wasn’t being anti-social, but things were crazy here last weekend.  We had several bad windstorms and lots of rain and picking up the messes between the storms kept me busy.

Then last Sunday was Father’s Day and I “gifted” my hubby with the day off.  He didn’t do a thing but what he wanted to do.  But that kept me busy.  He’s worth it however, though he deserved more than a full day off.   But that’s all the time I had to give.  🙂

So I made a dessert he would like and the dinner menu he requested.  Everything about the day was perfect.  To cap the day off, my oldest son who lives in Alaska called to wish ME a happy fathers’ day.  Since for many of his growing up years I was both, I felt very honored.  Then of course, my son wished his stepfather the same.

In all a perfect day, but not one that gave me time to think of posting to my blog.

But back to those storms.  We’ve had several this past week, always with lots of high winds, heavy rains, hail, thunder and lightning.  During one, I answered the phone. Now I don’t like to be on the phone during bad storms—don’t know why but that’s always been me.  But this time I answered.

I’m so glad I did!

The caller was a woman with a soothing vocal tones and a cadence suggestive of our gracious southern states.  Her message?  One of the best ever!  My book, Black Ribbon Affair, won the Holt Medallion Award for BEST FIRST BOOK!!!!

Best First Book

I’m still celebrating this phone call.  Winning an award like this is one I’ve word toward.  But it’s also one that other people determine the outcome.  All I could do was work hard and put my work “out there.”  After all, you can’t win at anything if you give up.

Many people have believed in me when I questioned why I kept writing and submitting.  They deserve to be celebrating with me.  Some of them have.  Some will.  Some didn’t live long enough to see this day.  But I believe they are celebrating with me in a place which doesn’t have storms, disappointments, or daily stresses.

What makes this award so special is that no other book I write will ever win it.  Black Ribbon Affair is my first book.  A writer has only one debut book.  Black Ribbon Affair is mine.  When I was writing the first draft many years ago, my husband told me this would be the book that would sell first.  How right he was.  How lucky I’ve been that he has always been so supportive through all its revisions.  (See why he deserved that day of totally doing what he wanted?)

Writing isn’t easy.

You must be willing to have the patience of a saint as my grandmother used to say.  You have to be willing to write even when the days are filled with stress and tension.  You write when you’re sick.  You write when you’re happy or when you’re depressed.  You develop a thick skin to handle the rejections, the poor review or two, the work that sometimes seems so thankless.  You see a day as productive when you’ve sweated over two pages–but damn those were great pages.  You feel the same when you finish twenty pages done in a day.  You persevere no matter what gets thrown in your path.  You fight to remember the good times when bad days happen.  You accept the fact that bad days will show up.

But writing those stories in my head and heart is so worth it.    Especially when readers love my stories.  Black Ribbon Affair has won Write Touch Reader’s Award  for Best Romantic Suspsense.  Now it’s won the Holt Medallion for Best First Book.  I’m so glad I never gave up.  I hope you never do either.

Explore posts in the same categories: Awards, Writing, Writing goals

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10 Comments on “Another Win”

  1. Edie Ramer Says:

    I’m still so happy for you! I haven’t given up either, though I’m finding a different route than you. I’m looking forward to making it happen for me, just as you made it happen.

    May these two rewards be the first of many!

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    And when your break happens, Edie, I’ll be cheering you on. Believe it.

  3. Elle J Rossi Says:

    I’m sending the biggest CONGRATULATIONS your way. I can’t begin to imagine how that feels. Your journey is inspiring and I thank you for sharing it.

    Enjoy the joy!

  4. caseyclifford Says:

    Thanks, Elle. I appreciate your support and your showing up on that cold January night for the Borders event. You’re awesome. 🙂

  5. Congratulations! That has got to be the best feeling in the world! Savor it and I pray that it is one of many!


  6. Congratulations, Casey. The road to publication can be long and require a lot of hard work. Good for you that you never gave up. I know there are lots of other honors in your writing future.

    Sandra Robbins

  7. caseyclifford Says:


    Thanks for stopping by and reading about my journey. Here’s hoping we both have many triumphs to come. 🙂

  8. caseyclifford Says:


    So many times at conferences and workshops I’ve said and heard others say: If you don’t show up, you don’t have a chance to win the race.

    Well, the HOLT and writing success is one type of race. Guess I’m a marathoner… 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Mary Hughes Says:

    Casey, what a terrific post! You’re so right, never give up and celebrate the support of others. Congrats on winning this prestigious award! (Love the Holt logo)


  10. caseyclifford Says:

    Hi Mary,

    Biting Nixie is next to read once I finish the current one. Finding new authors is so much fun when I go to conferences.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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