It must be my year to be a finalist. I was just notified that my series about AIDS is finalist for a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.
I spent five months researching the article, which attempted to get down for the first time the history of Boulder County's response to the AIDS epidemic. It was one of the most intense stories I've done because of the personal tragedy and loss and heartbreak involved. At times during interviews, I found myself having to mute my phone so that the people I was interviewing couldn't hear me crying. My heart went out to the parents who'd lost sons, to the women who'd contracted HIV from men, to the children left without fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters due to this terrible illness, to young gay men who faced not only a fatal disease but the hatred of society.
The story ran in five parts over a period of six weeks, each installment telling another piece of the story. By the time it was done, I was very drained, but I also felt very blessed to have met men and women who seem to me to be heroes — the first doctor to treat AIDS in our county (for a long time the ONLY doctor; people whose sense of injustice led them to fight for gay men with AIDS so that these men could have health care and housing; people who donated time and money and came up with creative solutions for the problems inflicted by AIDS. These people are saints in my book.
I'm going to be a guest at the annual AIDS Project fundraiser dinner this summer, and I'm really looking forward to that. In the meantime, the AAN conference/awards is in June.
In other news: Ben and Liz made it back from prom alive and look exhausted. They had fun, it seems, though I haven't gotten a full report. And they were so gorgeous together! I don't have photos back yet, so I'll just have to wait to post.
I might be back with an excerpt later, but I'm in a rotten mood and behind on my writing -- the former the result of the latter. I lost my writing mojo for a while this weekend after someone close to me made some unsupportive comments about my writing career. When I'm down, I just can't write. Then I get angry at myself for not writing. And that's where I am now, although it was cheering to talk with RBL's Frances for the first time.
Have a great Sunday.