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June 19th, 2006

The Stoker Awards Weekend Part 1

The real blog entry will happen tomorrow. In the meantime, while I recover from jetlag and general debauchery, please allow me to share with you Gary Braunbeck's speech (delivered by Hank Schwaeble, reprinted here with Gary's permission) that accompanied the presentation of the President's Richard Laymon Award.

Because this kind of made me all warm and gooey and silly. Thank you, Gary.

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The great songwriter Tom Lehrer once wrote the following:


“You can't take three from two,
Two is less than three,
So you look at the four in the ten’s place.
Now that's really four tens
So you make it three tens,
Regroup, and you change a ten to ten ones,
And you add 'em to the two and get twelve,
And you take away three, that's nine.
Now instead of four in the ten’s place
You've got three,
'Cause you added one,
That is to say, ten, to the two,
But you can't take seven from three,
So you look in the hundreds place….”

I can almost guarantee you there is not a person in this room who, at some point while attempting the monthly ballet of horror called “Balancing the Budget”, has not either slammed their head against the desk or, after gathering up the shattered remains of their dignity, called out to their significant other: “Honey? I, uh, need HEEEEEELP! All these numbers hurt my widdle bwain….”

Yeah, like you’ve never done that. Right. Look at Elizabeth Monteleone right this second – she’s probably trying not to laugh her head off while Tom’s wearing that “What? I’m good with numbers” look on his face. Humor him.

Half the people in this room most likely can’t look at the four in the ten’s place and realize that it’s actually four tens so you make it three tens and regroup … dear God, I just gave myself a headache.

Luckily, for the members of the Horror Writers Association, we have been given the gift of an individual named Lisa Morton, who has been serving as our treasurer for the better part of 3 administrations, and who has agreed to continue serving in this capacity with the next administration.

Yes, she is insane – but she is also one of the most meticulous and conscientious people to ever hold the office.

But that’s not the only reason she is receiving this much-deserved accolade tonight. At one point during this year, Lisa was doing quadruple duty: Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Chair, and unofficial cheerleader when the rest of us felt like we were slamming our heads against the surface of the desk because all these numbers hurt our widdle bwains. (Okay, I was the only one doing the actual head-slamming, but it’s the consistency of the metaphor that’s important here.)

Lisa Morton has demonstrated a level of enthusiasm, support, and dedication to HWA that leaves me in near-awe; how she managed to do quadruple duty while working a full-time job at the same time is, in my eyes, nothing short of astonishing, and no mere “Thank You” will suffice for the outstanding effort she has put into this organization, and that is why – after making sure that the four in the ten’s place is actually four tens so you make it three tens and regroup – it is my great pleasure and honor to present this wonderful individual with the 2005 Richard Laymon President’s Award for her exceptional service and dedication to the Horror Writer’s Association.