Jeanne: The True Heart of the Golden Heart®

dragonfly-3469873_640Elizabeth’s post last week on the future of the Golden Heart® got me to thinking about my own experiences with this RWA tradition.

As you may know, I was a finalist in 2015 for The Demon Always Wins, my debut paranormal which will be released on September 1st on Amazon. It was a thrill to final, and an even bigger thrill in July, when the book went on to win its category. But the greatest win I received from the contest wasn’t delivered until the next February.

In January, 2016, after a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer. I was very fortunate because the mammogram and follow up ultrasound caught it very early–I think my tumor was 4 millimeters–about the size of the tip of your pinky finger. In March I had a lumpectomy and did a course of radiation and I’m happy to report that I’ve seen no recurrence.

But in between that January diagnosis and my March surgery, something pretty amazing happened. One Saturday morning in February, I did a quick check of my email before heading out to go hiking at a nearby nature preserve, as I usually do on Saturdays. To my surprise, in my inbox was a $5 Amazon gift card from on one of the Dragonflies, as my Golden Heart® class had chosen to name themselves. I was a little befuddled, but I had to meet a friend at the preserve, so I decided I’d figure out what was going on when I got home.

When I returned, around 10 a.m., there were two more gift cards in my inbox, also from Dragonflies. All day long, my inbox pinged with new arrivals as my Dragonfly sisters used their wings to carry me aloft. When I reached out to thank them and ask what they were doing, they said they wanted me to feel like I was getting little hugs all day long.

I truly did.

By the end of the day, I had amassed around 40 gift cards in varying amounts, totaling almost $300. In my mind, that money is earmarked for buying, at a minimum, every Dragonfly debut novel, so that I can read it and leave a review and, in some small measure, pay them back for their support during what could have been a lonely and frightening time.

So, RWA® Board if you’re listening, that’s what the Golden Heart® is really about. To my mind, we shouldn’t be looking for ways to dismantle it. We should be looking for ways to spread this kind of sisterhood and camaraderie throughout the organization.

10 thoughts on “Jeanne: The True Heart of the Golden Heart®

  1. Glad you have the all-clear now, but what a fantastic gesture. That epitomizes all that’s best about the GH, and RWA, and the romance writing community. I really hope RWA finds a way to keep the Golden Heart.

    And speaking of the Golden Heart–wishing you very good luck for tomorrow. Sorry I can’t be there, but I’ll be cheering at my computer screen

  2. I feel like I’ve already won. I had dinner last night with my new Golden Heart class, and it appears to be an equally kind and warm-hearted group that I’ll love running into at future conferences and cheering on as they launch into publication.

  3. Oh, my gosh, what a wonderful tribute by the “dragonfly” group! THAT is sisterhood at its finest hour! And how fantastic to read in this comment thread, the next class seems equally amazing! Again, SISTERhood!

  4. Also, on the cancer note, I have a friend who rides Pelotonia, and you and Stacy will have little ribbons on her saddle bag with your first name and last initial, as folks she is riding to honor. She uses different colors to represent whether the person has passed on, is in remission, or actively fighting.

  5. Pingback: Jilly: Alpha Males Revisited – Eight Ladies Writing

  6. Pingback: Michaeline: Three Questions for Jeanne Oates Estridge about her professional debut! – Eight Ladies Writing

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