How do you want to be remembered? It's not really something you get to decide, unfortunately. I can't control how people will remember me, now that I've been eliminated from LJ Idol, Season 8, but I know what I'll remember.
I'll remember that I made it through Hell Week, writing 17 pieces despite helping to staff Otakon for the first third of it. If I ever find myself thinking that, as a work-at-home mom, I'm too busy to write, I'll think of what I did during Hell Week.
I'll remember testing myself and trying out creative ideas and new genres I'd never attempted before; and receiving both votes and positive feedback! If I ever wonder if I should try something new, I'll think of what I did this season.
I'll remember the new friends I made and the friends, old and new, who supported me. I'll name a few names at the risk of leaving somebody important out:
Gary, a.k.a. clauderainsrm, of course, for starting it all and keeping the twists and turns exciting. You are a good man and a friend, and I admire your ability to get so many people involved and interested, and to keep all the balls in the air. My hat's off to you, sir.
The Gryphon (toanstation), my wonderful husband, who has helped me brainstorm ideas, has read drafts, and has listened to my constant LJ babble for nine months. I think I might have been less insufferable while I was pregnant. You are my rock.
roina_arwen for her fantastic editing help and beta reader assistance, especially during Hell Week. You're the Alpha Beta.
oneonthefence who took up the literary lance for me during Champions Week and pushed me to some of my best writing of the season. Thank you for all the support and the kind words, and for writing an incredible Champions piece despite all that was going on in your life that weekend. You're amazing.
beldarzfixon for being a terrific writing partner during one of the Intersection Weeks, and who's been a great support, as well. Who would have guessed that the same guy who wrote all those thoughtful personal essays a couple of seasons ago would turn out to be such a well-rounded fiction writer? You give me something to aspire to.
drjeff who wrote a great intersection piece with me the same weekend as his wedding reception. I have always loved your writing and look forward to reading more. You're a prose poet.
lawchicky who wrote a fun intersection piece with me that took a wry look at the 1950s and the expectations about women and entertaining. You're a friend and a great writer and mom, and I love how your mind works.
spydielives, a.k.a. done_talking, who helped me brainstorm for ideas earlier in the season. You did what I, who has a MFA in Poetry, didn't dare do, and wrote nothing but poetry in your alt journal this season. I admire your talent and your moxie.
My profuse thanks to the many people who supported me -- friends old and new -- who encouraged me, who left thoughtful comments and reminded me that, no matter what happens with the vote, I've accomplished something.
And I have. But I've also watched a lot of friends, a lot of talented writers, get cut before me. I think it's more fitting, not to celebrate my relative success, but to praise everyone who comes out, who puts his or her work on the line, who refreshes the poll, waiting for redemption. We are all winners, because we took that risk. And I am proud to join the Eliminati.
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Gilda Radner, who said in her memoir, "I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity."
I can't wait to see what happens next.
Now, by request, some cute pictures of my toddler, Kung Fu Panda, taken during our big family vacation this week. Here's for you, i_smell_apples.
Now that I'm out of LJI, I'll be putting all my energy into the redesign of my literary magazine, Wild Violet, which is converting from a quarterly to a weekly. Look for the first weekly installment soon, and go to the site for submission guidelines. That means you!