If anything, this proves my contention that I don’t Google myself: I found out from a poster here that I have won the ORBA (the Only Real Book Award) for having balls. (The link is entered in the comments section of the previous entry, for those who are curious.)
Of course, I’m flattered, although — neurotic, paranoid person that I am — I worry it’s a hoax, a very sophisticated way of mocking me. Have I made rash, self-important statements about having balls? (I know I made some about Barbie dolls in hardboiled novels, but that was years ago.) About literature and my role therein? (Pretty much none, in my recent natterings.) I also wish my friend, Elaine Viets, hadn’t been singled out as someone who criticizes awards for overlooking women. I think Elaine is very brave, speaking her mind. Then again, anyone who criticizes Elane is kind of brave, too, as Elaine is the walking example of what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger — and then I kill it. I’m pretty sure Elaine has balls.
As do other female writers, complicated compliment that may be. Generally, I know being credited with gonads is always a compliment, and I’m cool with it. My language peeve is with “ball busting,” which I think men use a little too indiscriminately, until it becomes a way of saying “A woman disagrees with me.” I don’t think challenging a man on his opinion means challenging his masculinity. But I digress.
So, all in all, an honor. Thank you, anonymous committee, even if it does turn out that I have missed the joke and am actually being ridiculed. (I confess to skimming the blog, as I’ve actually been on a hiatus from reading anything about publishing and have even stopped reading positive reviews, as I found them inhibiting.) Thank you to the poster, who pointed the way.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go back to brooding that there’s something wrong with me because I read for story. Is it wrong to read a book such as Charles Baxter’s The Soul Thief largely to find out what happens? I love language, but it can’t sustain me through a novel, even a short one. Does that make me defective? Why do we read what we read? Not a rhetorical question, and I hope people will have something to say in the comments section.