Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Post-RWA Blogging

I'm fascinated that certain things are surfacing now that we've all returned from Reno. I never caught wind of what's described on Corrinalaw's blog while there. In fact, I only caught part of the awards ceremony since no one informed THIS agent that I needed a special additional ticket. I only learned that much mid-afternoon on Saturday, since there wasn't any notice in my conference packet, and I had checked that I had a ticket.

About the below, I'm not sure what actually wound up in the final presentation since I wasn't there. Anyone care to fill us in?

More to come soon--once I finish catching up on emails.


Anonymous Maureen McGowan said...

Hi Deirdre.
It was so wonderful meeting you in Reno both at the Chick Lit party (thanks Diana) and during my pitching session. What a drag that you didn't get the "special ticket" for the Ritas...

I went into the ceremony oblivious to the drama... Didn't even look at the program to see who was *supposed* to be MCing and had no idea why TTQ had broken down during her luncheon speech...

I kinda liked the "show" -- but I admit to being a little tipsy so not the best judge. It was long and I'm glad they omitted 9/11 references, if NR is right that they had been in there. After the first few "year in reviews" I was bracing myself for 2001 -- but luckily we were spared.

(who you'll get an e-mail from tomorrow. Having a few CP's do a final proof-read.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 at 6:02:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen McGowan said...

Could I be a bigger idiot???

Deidre, I spelled your name wrong.

That's what comes from hitting "publish" too soon. Lucky I'm having others proof read my submission.

Very sorry.


Tuesday, August 2, 2005 at 6:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Shelley Bradley said...

Unlike Maureen, I was not unaware of the controversy. I heard about it sometime on Friday, I think, but then heard it had been solved. Then heard it was not solved... Anyway, what finally made it wasn't too bad in terms of visual images. No falling towers, no Columbine moments, no blowing up of Challenger, etc. I'd heard those were all in the original presentation, then taken out at NR's request. They did a few things to accommodate, but not enough. I didn't really want to see pics of Di's funeral procession. And I thought all the pictures of presidents that gave people the chance to clap or boo, depending on your POV, were unnecessary. It wasn't an awful presentation, but it was overly long and didn't focus on RWA as much a pop culture and world history. And more emphasis was put on award presenters than the recipients themselves, which I thought was misplaced. The whole evening puzzled me more than anything else.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 at 7:09:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous mhgibson said...

It's been all over the RWA loops today. People are posting their letters to the board, infuriated with the ceremony.

Nora Roberts posted a letter that basically said she asked that the script be changed (a script she saw only on Friday) and that the images of the Twin Towers, Oklahoma bombing and the Challenger explosion were to be removed.

Other big authors have followed suit like Jenny Crusie, Barbara Samuels to name a few, as well as Julie Leto and many others exclaiming outrage that the ceremony focused so much on death, destruction, politics and dividing the audience into red states and blue states.

There was also this thread of following the Charles and Di relationship that culimated with her FUNERAL and the sad, sad picture of the letter that said "Mummy" on her casket. Several people around me (as well as me!) were crying.

The other tasteless things were the choice of music. They played "Don't Worry, Be Happy" while showing images from Tienamen Square. And other spots where there was upbeat music where tragic and or sad events were being shown.

I have to say, while in the moment, I was sort of stunned by what I was seeing, but tried to clap along and participate. Mostly, I was depressed that as soon as the show started, I was forced to remember Di (whom I followed since I was like what...13) and what it was like staying up all night crying over her death. It just wasn't celebratory.

Then there was the showing of Reagan and the Bushes as if they were Gods and a lot of poking fun at Clinton. It just divided the audience, I thought, with some sort of mark of demarcation where you had to cheer for one president or the other when that's not what the event was about at all.

There was very little of the celebration of the nominees and their work or the work of the RWA as a whole over the past 25 years. It might have been more appropriate to show how romance covers had changed over the years, or how many RWA members made the bestseller list.

It's sad that such a wonderful night for the nominees and winners will go down in history as perhaps one of the most embarassing RWA moments.


Tuesday, August 2, 2005 at 7:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Shannon McKelden said...

I agree with Marley. I clapped along, participated, stayed for the whole thing, and it wasn't until later that it really occurred to me..."Why did they want to make us cry?" A good 75% of the things shown to us were depressing. And, I found out about the real story of what happened by a very prominent, NYT bestselling author I know, who happens to be British, and spent the entire ceremony bawling because of the Diana footage. This was also the part I found most disturbing (after breathing a sigh of relief that we didn't have to relive the Challenger actually exploding or the Twin Towers actually falling). I found it in extremely poor taste that pictures of Charles and Di's wedding were played, then the script said, "They may not have lived a fairy tale, but the winner of the next Golden Heart category will." Ugh. Can we say tacky??

I also recall when various political figures were being shown, waiting for the boos to join the applause, and wondering why they would play something that would so clearly draw a line between us and them. Also tacky and inappropriate.

Lastly, I couldn't understand what a celebration of 25 years of RWA had to do with most of what they showed. It would have been much more appropriate to show how much the romance industry has changed and grown over the last 25 years...who made the first bestseller list, what new genres were created, etc. They missed a great opportunity for uplifting, cheering and joyous celebration, and turned it into something mostly ugly and depressiong. :-(

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 at 10:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Devon Ellington said...

As someone who is not a RWA member yet and did not attend the conference, I'm a little puzzled as to why anyone would find images of Diana's funeral or the Twin Towers collapse (as a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, I would have had to stand up and do something then and there, had I been there and those images shown) or Challenger -- appropriate to an RWA ceremony?

Am I missing something here?

Or did the committee who put together that paricular event either have some bizarre agenda or just make a series of completely inappropriate choices?

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 at 12:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Corrina said...


You've certainly increased my blog traffic. Thanks, I think. :)

I should explain I did have permission to repost the letter. I am not any sort of special friend of Nora Roberts--the letter came via Pat Gaffney, who posted it to a loop I'm on.

I am somewhat clued into the behind the scenes stuff, simply because I know Jenny Crusie (I've had the good fortune to have her as a mentor) and several others involved in the planning of the awards ceremony.

Bottom line, what was presented was just the wrong tone for this ceremony and it was far too long.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 at 1:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Aw, Corrina, new traffic is a GOOD thing! And I wouldn't imagine that anyone thought you posted that letter out of turn. Considering how this whole bit has exploded across the Net, I think posting a clear reply from Nora Roberts was a good idea.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 at 1:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Corrina said...

Yes, I will enjoy the new traffic, thank you!

I'm just taking a moment to get past the "Deidre Knight linked me in her blog!" freak-out. :)

And, yes, I agree that a statement from Nora really needed to be out there. It'd be nice if RWA would address it officially as well and soon but....

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 at 2:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Corrina, you are too funny! :) You are so utterly linkable. lol.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 at 2:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I'm finally back from Reno (and my anniversary in San Francisco) and am speed-reading the blogs. No energy to post on my own on-line diary! At least not today.

The RITA Awards.... At first I liked the concept, thought the fashion show was funny, but it dragged on far too long and I quickly lost enthusiasm. Thought the whole Charles/Di thing was tacky, and held my breath when I thought the clip of the space shuttle might blow up in front of our eyes or, horrors, the twin towers might fall. So glad that wasn't shown! All in all, I preferred previous award ceremonies FAR more, could totally understand why Nora Roberts backed out, and found my posterior so sore by the end of said lengthy proceedings that it's amazing I was able to boogey the night away afterward with a certain SMC, who shall not be named, and the Infamous Serena, among others. Now THERE was a party.


Friday, August 5, 2005 at 3:49:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the RWA board has apparently now apologized. Some names are conspicuously missing, for whatever individual reasons they had.

Saturday, August 6, 2005 at 8:30:00 PM EDT  

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