It started out like any other write-in…other than my dear friend Kellye from Des Moines came.
She was supposed to come and stay overnight with me last month when my husband was out of town so we could go out on the town and—I mean, so we could have a nice quiet time here at home, discussing our writing. But then we had a snow storm that day and she couldn’t come. So no, I didn’t think anything was up when she said she was coming yesterday. (Though I understand there was conversation over the weekend to the tune of, “Dori still hasn’t told us you’re coming yet”…but in my defense, there was SNOW predicted again yesterday…so I didn’t know if she was really going to come until yesterday. I DID send out an e-mail as soon as I knew she was coming for sure!)
The write-in group (i.e. BEST FRIENDS EVER!) had told me they wanted to take me out for lunch to celebrate my Edgar nomination, so that’s what I thought we were doing yesterday. As more and more people started drifting in for the write-in (people who don’t normally come…or haven’t come in a while), I still didn’t get it.
And when Kellye nudged me during the write-in and asked if we could go somewhere and chat for a little while because she didn’t realize we actually WORK during our write-ins and she needed some conversation, I still had no idea anything was going on. I did think it was a little weird that she didn’t want to sit by the nice fountain in the basement of the library to talk; that’s where people normally go to talk during our write-ins. But no, all of sudden she was more interested in going to see the library than she was in talking. And she wanted me to show her around. So okay…I took her upstairs to see the library, never suspecting what was going on downstairs.
Apparently this guy was the lookout:
His job was to call out, “Hi, Dori,” when he saw Kellye and me coming back down the stairs…which was a signal to all these people who were hiding around the corner:
Then they all jumped out and yelled, “Surprise!”
And yeah, I was surprised:
In fact, I STILL didn’t quite get it at first…I couldn’t figure out what these people were doing. It wasn’t time to go to lunch yet; why were they all out in the hall?
Then I realized there were more people there than there had been when Kellye and I went upstairs…and I saw into the big room behind them. It was all decorated in Edgar Allan Poe style. There was a BIG table set for people to eat at rather than work at…and then it slowly dawned on me…all this was for ME. These people had put together a Congratulations On Your Edgar Nomination Party!
I was really touched…no one’s ever thrown me a surprise party before.
That explained why so many people showed up for the write-in…and why we had meeting room A for our write-in rather than meeting room B. That part had never made a lot of sense. We always take meeting room B if we can…ALWAYS! It’s smaller, cozier, and we don’t have to move tables. Meeting room B was available, but Wendy (who would absolutely NEVER lie to me!) told me the library had just gone ahead and put us in A “for some reason.” Wendy also reserved the room until 2:30, but told the library to have the reservation notice say that our reservation was until 1:00 like it normally is, so I wouldn’t look at it and start asking questions. They really did think of everything, including what they would do if there had been snow…because the guest of honor does not drive in snow.
They even tried to invite my husband…they made a point of calling him when I was already at the write-in so I wouldn’t answer the phone. But we have caller ID, so when my husband sees it’s one of my friends calling, he doesn’t pick up the phone. Katherine was persistent, though…persistent enough that he instant messaged me to tell me Katherine has been calling. I did think that was weird…she should have known I’d be at the write-in at that time. And why wasn’t SHE at the write-in yet? She knows I don’t get cell phone service in the library basement, so it makes sense she wouldn’t call my cell, but why would she call my home phone? If she wanted to talk to me, she should’ve e-mailed me. My husband said she wasn’t leaving any messages…not that he would’ve listened to those either, because again, she’s my friend, presumably calling to leave a message for me. Not him. So the party had to go on without him.
They brought in pizza from Wig and Pen…they even got a Twickenham pizza, which is THE BEST PIZZA EVER (spinach, artichokes, black olives, tomatoes etc baked inside two crusts)…and somebody knew me well enough to know that the only pop I drink is Diet Dr. Pepper. (Nobody outside this group thinks to buy Diet Dr. Pepper for a get-together, because there aren’t a lot of us who drink it!) And they made salad…and CAKE:
And if all that wasn’t enough, there were cards and gifts,too: several Edgar Allan Poe books (including a first edition!), an Edgar Allan Poe T-shirt, a mini crime lab set, a magnifying glass, a golden retriever bookmark, some erasers shaped like dog bones, and the Sherlock Holmes cap that is on that skeleton’s head:
(I’m told I can untie that cap, turn it inside out and it will make a nice clutch for the gala! As someone who rarely even carries a purse unless I absolutely have to, I wouldn’t know about things like that…)
Jeni gave me this nice raven handkerchief to bring to the gala…she said I can use it either way, no matter what happens.
And Jeni is an artist, so look what else she gave me:
I almost started crying when I saw that! Isn’t it beautiful?
But wait…there’s more! I was also presented with this Edgar award because my friends wanted me to feel like I win no matter what…which, with friends like these, of course I do!
(It says Dori Hillestad Butler; 2011 Best Juvenile; “The Buddy Files”…and btw, the bottom part that looks like hair at the end of bows isn’t hair at all…those are ravens!)
So now I have two Edgars because Katherine gave me the one in the picture below (Edgar is the guy on the left) when the nomination was first announced. And she said basically the same thing when she gave him to me…regardless of what happens in April, I win! Edgar has been sort of my own personal Origami Yoda ever since I got him…he sits on my monitor and offers advice.
And now Edgar has a friend…that’s Sherlock on the right. He was also in yesterday’s gift basket.
I don’t know any of the other four nominees in my category, but if they don’t have friends like mine, then I hope one of them wins in April because I’ve already won about ten times over.
Here they all are…my awesome friends and me:
And one more…me and one of my soul sistas, since you can’t see her on the group picture beacause she always hides in the back when the camera comes out. She painted the Edgar award and made the cakes, and knew about the diet Dr. Pepper, and, and, and….
I did ask what would’ve happened if I’d told Kel, “Gee, I’d like to, but I really need to work now. We can chat at lunch…” Apparently they had a plan for that, too. (In other words, they actually thought that could happen!)
Thanks again, guys! You’re the best!