What else must I prepare for? Well, of course there’s the suspense over the book awards that will be announced on Saturday night at the Military Writers Sociey of America banquet. Somehow I managed to garner two different nominations. The first is for my The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese: Avoiding the Traps of Self-Publishing in the category of Business and How-to Books. There are lots of nominations here, and our topics have wide-ranging differences: from losing weight to handling security clearance issues. I’m glad I’m not a judge! It’s hard to pick the best bite out of a fruit salad.
And the second award nomination is even worse – Author of the Year. How in the world can anyone pick such a thing? The rules mention “a body of work” based on “literary excellence.” What does that mean? The best book? The best series of books? The best variety of books? Work from the past or work projected into the future? Best in terms of sales or reviews? Somehow I can’t imagine that title – Author of the Year – applying to me in any case, but I’m sure I’ll be nervous as the time approaches.
The whole affair gave me a new appreciation of awards shows as I watched part of the Emmy Awards the other night. I fully understood all those crumpled and damp pieces of paper with notes on them for an acceptance speech. What does one say? How blank can your mind go? Should the winner announce that he’s “not worthy” in an imitation of the required ritual for a new pope? Does he do a Julia Dreyfus imitation and say it’s a shame someone else didn’t win? And is there any purpose in thanking all those people who helped – starting with one’s first-grade teacher and including the mailman who delivered the acceptance letter from the publisher? And what do you say when you don’t win? Oh dear! At least we won’t be tussling in the aisles like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. At this point, however, I’d rather be in the back row, watching others trying to be gracious and humble.