Girls Write Out
Monday, April 03, 2006

The phone rang Friday night. I looked at the caller ID like I always do, and it said UNKNOWN. When I see an UNKNOWN, my heart rate always kicks up a beat because that's what it says when someone is calling from WestBow. But it's 8:30 at night so it can't be my publisher. All this is speeding through my head even as I punch in the button.

"Hello," I say.

"Colleen Coble?"

I don't recognize the voice so I immediately think it's a telemarker. "Yes," I answer cautiously.

"This is XXX. I'm calling about the Holt Medallion."

I immediately sit upright in my chair. I've finaled in the Holt! "Whoohoo!" I say. "What fabulous news! Thank you, thank you!" She's laughing. It's fun to get a call with that kind of news, but here's where it REALLY gets fun. "Who else is a finalist?" I ask.

"Let's see, I guess it's okay to tell you now. Dorothy Clark, Lyn Cote, and Hannah Alexander," she says.

I whoohoo again. "Hannah Alexander is one of my dear friends."

"Oh and Diann Hunt."

My jaw drops. "Di finaled too?" I dance out of my chair and scream loud enough to bust the girls eardrum. Now you have to understand, Di didn't think she'd stand a chance. She didn't want to enter and I twisted her arm.

"Yes for Hot Flashes and Cold Cream."

I scream again, and I think the woman is getting tired of hearing me shriek in her ear. "Oh my goodness, does she know yet?" I'm thinking if she knows and hasn't called me, she is in SO much trouble.

"Give me ten minutes," XXX says. "I'll call her right now."

I give her eight. But Di's not home. I try her cell and get the dreaded, "The party you are trying to reach..." I call back to her house and leave a message. "Di, call me right away." I don't want to give the surprise away.

Then I pace the floor. Twenty minutes later the phone rings.

"Why are you calling me?" Di whispers in the phone. She's at the coffee house.

"Did you get another call?" I ask.

She starts hyperventilating. "How did you know?" she whispers as she walks outside so she can scream.

"I GOT A CALL TOO!" I shout. "Distant Echoes finaled in the long inspie and Shadow Bones in the short."

She begins to break my eardrum with her screams. And I suspect we're BOTH jumping up and down. I know I am.

That's what makes this life so fun. There's always someone to share your joy with. You never know what a new phone call will bring. Kristin and Denise were right there to share our excitement with us, and congratulations came pouring in from our our other friends.

Are you making good friends who are there to savor your triumphs and cry with your rejections? If not, go find them. They're out there. There is so much joy in the journey. Diann bought me a picture frame to put in a pic of the two of us on our RV trip. It says JOURNEY along the bottom and then has the verse, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." It was the verse God gave me after a particularly painful rejection. At the time I didn't realize the best part of that hope and future was that I'd get to walk it with great friends!

I thank God for you all! You make the journey more beautiful than I ever dreamed.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 3:01 AM  
  Comments (12)
Delicious Delicious
At 12:37 AM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Whoo-hoo! Congrats you guys--such exciting news!

Frankly, your writing friends probably understand what this feels like, whether they've been up for an award or not, more than anyone!

At 1:25 AM, Blogger eileen said...

So excited for y'all. What GREAT news! And yes, what rich friendships we've developed through this writing world. Thank you Lord for each and every one.

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

excellent, congratulations to you colleen and also to diann!

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Tammy said...

I am so happy for you gals...but at the same time jealous of your closeness...ya'll pray for me that I will find a close friend or friends here in OH...I am going to claim the verse you mentioned Colleen!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Julie Dearyan said...

That is so awesome! I am excited for both of you.

yes, friends are extremely important in this life.


At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Congrats to both of you for being a filalist and for the friendship that you share~!

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Okay, I'm working at the coffee shop and just now paused long enough to stop and read our blog. Do you know how embarrassing it is to mess up your mascara in a coffee shop? I look like a Taryton smoker (those of you under 30 have no idea what that means)--and just so you know, I don't smoke. It was an old commercial--their slogan, "I'd rather fight than switch." Then it would show a guy with a black eye. Okay, more information than you wanted, but there it is.

The journey is so much better with friends!! I'm thankful for every one of you!

And Colleen, you ROCK, girlfriend!!!

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I'm wiping away tears of joy for you both! THe only way I could be happier is to get a call from an agent or editor about my book. LOL

Congratulations to you both - in 72 fuchsia font. :o)

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

WooHoo! Congrats!!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

You know, Tammy, your best writing friends don't have to live in Ohio. Have you joined ACFW? Kristin lives in California. The distance between us doesn't matter. I talk to her every day and it's as though we're right across the street. We found each other online and we've been friends for years now.

Go to to find out about them if you're not a member. If you are a member, then get active! You'll find some GREAT friends there!

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

How awesome! Congratulations Colleen and Diann! I'm excited for you both. It's such a great thing when God blesses us with good friends to share the writing journey with. I think you both got an extra special helping of that to share this together. :)

Can't wait to see what the results will be.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

Congratulations, Colleen and Diann. That is absolutely phenomenal news for two incredibly special ladies. I am so excited for you!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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