Friday, April 30, 2010

Hearing my name at the Edgars

It was very cool to hear my name announced at the Egars tonight. I had just about convinced myself I wouldn't hear it--back and forth, second by second. I didn't know what to think.

A few minutes before my category came up, my agent asked how I was doing, and I said fine, because I was. Not even a twinge of butterflies. That didn't start until the acceptance speech before my category ended, and I knew I was up. My pulse shot up. I panicked that I'd forget my speech, or go off script and blab way too long.

I pulled it out of my pocket, and ran through the bullet points. And again. And again. And then I wondered whether anyone at the table was noticing, and thinking, "He's practicing his speech! Look at that little fucker, expects to win!"

Haha. Seriously, that's what I started worrying about. So I kind of hid it with my other hand, which only made me look more conspiratorial. I was also afraid they would think it looked way too long--because I wrote down the page, so it could have been a ten-minute speech. Actually, I wrote more points than I do for my one-hour bookstore presentation.

I handed my agent my iPhone, all set up to take my picture. Then I started accusing myself of acting like I was going to win.

Then I worried that I'd be disappointed. I was, briefly, six days ago at the LA Times Book Awards. (Especially when I heard "Dave . . ." and thought "Oh I DID win!" forgetting, believe it or not, that the person I expected to win, Dave Eggers, also went by that name.

So as he opened the envelope tonight, I braced myself for another name. And then he said mine.

Thanks.
Dave Cullen's Edgar Award for COLUMBINE
Dave Cullen accepting the Edgar Award for COLUMBINE

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thinking of all you Columbine survivors today

Last year I didn't write a piece on the tenth anniversary, because it was a little overwhelming, and didn't feel up to capturing it all. So today, I'm aiming more modestly.

I have made so many friends in the Columbine community over the last eleven years. There are some extraordinary people out there, and it is one of the great pleasures of my job to get to know them. I'm thinking about you all today. I'm picturing your faces right now.

It's a rough time every year for some of the survivors, and others stopped even paying attention. (I consider everyone who lived through it a survivor, even if someone close to them did not make it--you did.) I wish each of you well.

I think the biggest thing I learned about grief and recovery is that everyone handles it differently--radically differently--and everyone has their own pace. The most frustrating thing we can do for those guys is to try to force them onto some schedule in our heads, or try to make them conform to what we think they should be thinking, feeling or doing. They want to be left to work it out themselves.

Good luck this week folks.