NOV. 13th UPDATE: DONNA WON 1st PLACE!
Yes, romance writers can live a strange life, often trying to keep the professional and the personal separate, and often failing at doing so. Sometimes you just have to give in and combine the two, so here it goes, a personal message to my friend, delivered in a very public forum because, honestly, I think these words are pertinent to us all…
Tonight you go into the finals of the competition that has dominated your life for the past 8–or is it 9–weeks now and I know right before you take the stage you like a little pep talk. I am delivering mine now, away from the noise and crowds and chaos.
Remember way back to September 23rd when we all came out to support you for your ‘one and only’ night in competition because you thought it would be fun, but you never expected to make it in, and then look at now. It’s November 12th now and all these weeks later you are 1 of only 3 remaining.
Being one of those 3 finalists, having made it through this far, means you are already a winner. The only question now is where you will place amidst the 3 winners.
In the end what matters is not if you are 1st or 2nd or 3rd. In the end, what matters most is that you made it through this far on the merits of your talent, showmanship and maybe most importantly, sportsmanship. You are finishing this competition with the respect of your fellow competitors, the judges, the crew, the audience, and even the waitstaff.
Simply to compete each week without giving up, and to compete fairly and graciously, means you are already a winner. So when you take that stage tonight to sing your final 2 songs of this long run, remember that it truly is an honor to simply be there and all the rest, the title of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, is only the icing on the cake.