Covenant Keeper

To the average person, these white lion head bookends might look like something anyone could pick up at TJ Max for $12.99 to fill a vacant corner on a bookshelf.

But they’re not.

To quote, and slightly modify, classic words from the movie A Christmas Story, I proudly exaggerate like Ralphie’s old man, “It’s a major award.”

You might respond like Parker’s neighbor, Sweed, “A major award? Shucks, I wouldn’t have known that. It looks like [bookends].”

Then I’d respond like Parker, “It is [bookends], you nincompoop. But it’s a major award. I won it.”

Like Sweed, you’d be impressed and say (language modified to keep my blog rated “E” for Everyone), “Dang, heck, you say you won it?”

And I’d say, “Yeah. Mind power, Sweed, mind power.”

Mind power is what got me those bookends, folks, mind power.

Last night I attended my publishers, Covenant Communications, Authors & Artists Appreciation Banquet, and in recognition of my contribution to their line of exceptional products for this year I received a lovely set of of bookends—along with everyone else there.

Hey, you take what you can get and make of it what you want!

It was very nice of Covenant to give us a gift in addition to a delicious meal for the contributions we are trying to make to the literary world. As I sat there among my colleagues, whom I’d never laid eyes on before, eating chicken and roasted potatoes I felt as proud as Ralphie did when he was officially inducted into the Little Orphan Annie Secret Circle—before he found out is was a marketing scam.

Allow me to modify some more lines from A Christmas Story:

“Be it known to all that [Kari Rich] is hereby appointed a member of the [Covenant Communications] Secret Circle and is entitled to all the honors and benefits occurring thereto. Honors and benefits. Already at the age of [forty]. The weeks [and months, and years] of [reading stacks of rejection letters] in order to get the [Covenant] inner seal to send off for my [published book] was about to pay off.”

It has paid off, not in dollars, mind you, but in satisfaction.

Ten years of reading, and writing, and taking classes, and getting rejection letters, and attending lectures and workshops where editors tell you there’s a one in a million chance that your manuscript will actually make it out of the mountainous slush piles and get into the hands of an assistant to the assistant editor whose bloodshot eyes will focus long enough to read the first two sentences of your work and actually be interested enough to pass your work on to an actual editor’s slush pile who picks up your manuscript because she spilled Diet Coke on her skirt and needs something to wipe it with, and while using your manuscript as a rag she happens to read a couple of lines she likes, so she keeps reading which eventually results in publication.

That’s what those bookends mean, and so I display them proudly on my end table.

Plus, I got to meet some great people at the banquet.

Do you know who Meg Johnson is? If not, you should because she’s AMAZING! She accidentally jumped off a cliff in St. George while rock hopping and is now a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down and without the use of her hands, yet she continues to rise above her trial to be an extremely cheerful inspiration to everyone she meets.

She’s a motivational speaker, author, artist, teacher, non-profit founder of Ms. Wheelchair Utah and a former contestant in Ms. Wheelchair America. She’s beautiful inside and out. Her husband, Whit Johnson, who married her after the accident (What a stud!), is a halftime entertainer with an awesome unicycle/basketball routine. They’re definitely a power couple and I felt super lucky to end up at their table.


The meal, the company, the atmosphere, and the presentations made me so glad I didn’t ditch the event and decide instead to sneak into one of the other events going on at Noah’s in Lindon that night. The hula and guava jelly classes looked pretty interesting and I would love to have met Mertimer and become his friend.

But then I would never have received my major award, which is a definite keeper.

Thanks Covenant.

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