About three hours after my blog post yesterday, at the CINEQUEST Film Festival Writers Celebration, the eight finalists in attendance were coming back to the theatre from lunch, and one of the assistants pulled me and Mozhan Marno, one of the other finalists, aside and took us back stage.
Internally, I was about to explode with the sense of impending … something. The assistant was very circumspect, trying very hard not to release any cats from bags. Finally, Mozhan and I realized that apparently we were the FINAL finalists. The assistant said, “When we announce your name, come on stage.”
We waited. I can’t speak for her, but my heart was certainly pounding. “Do you have a defibrillator back here? If I win, you might need it.” The assistant, a very petite young woman, looked at me like I was serious for just a second.
And then they announced Mozhan’s name.
And then they announced the second place winner’s name, and it was not me.
So after my gobsmacked shock wore off later that afternoon, tons of people were congratulating me, telling me wonderful things about the script, those who had read it. The other writers in the Top 10 were all incredibly talented, gracious people. I also met an agent, a producer, a couple of actors, and other passionate people trying to make it in the film industry. The day went by in a blur of amazing conversations.
Of course, I tried to get hold of Jim Pinto, my partner in crime, but he is in Portugal doing some freelance work.
So, about a block from where I first felt acceptance into the tribe of professional genre fiction writers, just like that, I had found another tribe. And received some validation in an incredibly subjective business. And secured a brief window of opportunity to secure more connections.
I love San Jose.