Muse Medallion

A small brag. I was so focused on sharing my "left my wallet in the cab" story I neglected to mention the outcome of the awards banquet I attended Saturday night.  This is the cat writers association annual banquet and I'd entered my work in three categories - humor column, individual humor piece, gift book.

The way the judging works is that 3 independent judges rate your piece and you must score an average of 90% between the 3 judges to be awarded what's called a "Certificate of Excellence." Then all Certificate of Excellence winners in a category compete for the Muse Medallion, which is the highest award bestowed. It's a matter of points--whoever has the most wins.

I was a Certificate of Excellence winner in all 3 categories, but had hopes of winning a Muse Medallion only in two. My book was up against Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul and I harbored no illusions of the outcome in that area.  And sure enough, I lost that category and the humor column. Then they came to the individual humor piece. Before the winner is announced, the mc reads the judges comments.  For the humor piece, one comment was, "...the perfect humor article. There is nothing that could be done to improve it..."

"Oh shoot, I didn't win," I thought. But wait--yes--that was my name being called.  Even better than winning the category was the cheer I heard as I walked to the stage to collect the medal.  Cat writers are wonderfully supportive people and I received a big burst of applause which meant the world to me.

So now I have a big honkin' cat medal staring me in the face from the corner of my bulletin board where I have oh-so-causally draped it.  On the back is engraved, "Dena Harris - Humor - 2006."

I'm very pleased.