I just want to take a…

I just want to take a moment here to say a big public thank you to everyone involved with the Fountain Award -- Greg and Kaolin, our webmasters, who have put things up and taken them down again, Cheryl and David and Ariana, who have helped with publicity in various ways, our five jurors (Heinz Insu Fenkel, Larissa Lai, Kelly Link, John Kessel, and Maureen McHugh) who gave so generously of their time over the last several months, the rest of the SLF staff who supported and commented and critiqued our ideas, and the SLF members whose membership fees enabled us to actually give a $1000 prize -- one of the largest prizes in spec fic, and perhaps someday, one of the most prestigious. It wouldn't have happened without these fabulous folks.

Most especially, I want to thank the tireless, conscientious, patient, and wise Karen Meisner, our awards administrator. I thought up this project months ago and just handed it off to her and forgot about it, and she has done a stellar job of handling...well, everything. I can't tell you what a relief it's been to know that it was all in her capable hands.

I think readers and writers in spec fic often aren't aware of how much tremendous, tireless work gets done by the volunteers behind the awards, the organizations, the conventions. It's fun work too, of course -- we wouldn't do it if it weren't. You meet great people, you get to work on exciting projects, and know that you're doing good things for a field you love. So there are plenty of perks, no doubt.

But at the end of the day, it's still work, and there are times when your life gets busy, and you want to just let it slide, forget about it, turn on the tv and drop that ball you'd promised to carry. I've had to apologize on more than one volunteer project for getting caught up in other things, losing track of deadlines, and holding everyone else up while I scrambled to fix my mistakes before they became irreparable. More than once, I didn't quite manage to fix things in time -- the perils of the overenthusiastic overcommitter. That happens to a lot of people, and it's understandable, but I think it says something important about character, about those people who don't drop that ball, who get the job done, even though they know they won't be paid in anything but grateful thanks and the knowledge of a job done well. People like that should be cherished, by all of us.

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