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Meet 2012 Golden Heart Finalist Nikki McIntosh

Today we’re welcoming Firebird Nikki McIntosh, Golden Heart finalist in the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category and a first time Golden Heart nominee. 

A certified Project Manager by day, Nikki constantly sneaks in writing time while closing her office door and pretending she’s on conference calls. She writes romantic comedies and lives in the beautiful seaside commmunity of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, her 11 year old son, and her clingy dog. 

 Her Golden Heart nominated book FAKING IT is a romantic comedy about a washed-up actress who returns to L.A. to make one last movie and signs up for a fake relationship with a mega-movie star for publicity. Things get messy when she falls for her co-star on the set. 

 You can learn more about her at her website, www.nikkimcintosh.com

or follow her on Twitter – @nikkimcintosh9

 Take it away, Nikki!

 *********************************************************************

Becoming a GH finalist is a little like joining a secret society, without the hooded cape.  I’ve jotted down a few things that surprised me the most over the last few months, and in no particular order, here are my Top Five.

1) The Email

When you first join the loop you think “This will be fun – I’ll get to chat with my other GH nominees – get to know them a little before the conference.”

The reality?  Say goodbye to friends and family because you won’t have time to talk to them once you attempt to answer literally hundreds of messages that are sent to you every half hour.

It became so overwhelming that I had to hire a couple of middle-school girls to manage my email for me so that I could do the ‘extras’ in my life, like shower and eat. Although I had to skirt a few child labor laws, and they occasionally liked to chat with my fellow GHers about whether or not they have a chance to date Justin Beiber (for the record, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘seriously? Not gonna happen’), it was worth it to spend time with my family again.

Kind of.

2) The Dress

You may think the GHers are emailing about the quality of their manuscripts, or the pros and cons of entering the Twitterverse (please use #Twittersucksthelifeoutofme when compiling your list) … but no greater dilemma faces a GH finalist than “what am I going to wear?”  Hundreds and hundreds of hours are dedicated to the pursuit of the “perfect dress.”

I’ve decided to take the Angelina Jolie route and use my dress as a focal point to highlight my favourite limb.  And since Angie’s pretty much done The Leg to death, I’m going with a strong lean toward the often overlooked, and underappreciated, elbow.  I’ve been practicing a “hand-on-hip” stance that really emphasizes the mid-arm, and I think it’s fair to say that I am rockin’ this pose.

Challenge ‘on’ ladies. Challenge on.

 3) The Speech

Although you’re supposed to be humble and pretend like you don’t have a shot at winning your category, we have all been advised to create a speech, “just in case.”  I have labored long and hard over mine, and although it’s not perfect yet, I think I’ve got the core elements down.

I’ve got a strong opening line (“Whazzup bitches … “), the irreverent shout-out to our published authors (“I am coming for you Nora Roberts.  That’s right, you heard me … I’m going to take you down … JD Robb-style.”) and a closing line that will leave them cheering (“we’re going to do this tequila shot on the count of three.  Everyone ready? “).

Combined with the hand-on-hip elbow thrust that I’ve perfected, I think it’s safe to say that I am Conference. Ready.

 4) The GH Group Name

Nothing gets the GHers more excited than picking a group name.  And although it seems like it would be a fun activity, it was clear that any of the names suggested, no matter how innocent, could be interpreted negatively.  For instance, my suggestion of “Demon Writers Practicing a Weekly Chicken Sacrifice To Please The Blood-God” was met with multiple comments that poultry references were very 2011.

In the end, we went with The Firebirds as a group name (although it’s my understanding that Team Corvette is still planning on launching a protest).

5) The Friendships

We’ve had an opportunity to get to know, and bond with, a whole new group of writers.  You would think that the competitive spirit would prevent new friendships from being forged, especially in our categories, as we all know that if one person gets published it takes away our chance at the dream.  But strangely, we’ve all come together in these last few months to celebrate our achievements.  And although I’ve spent many hours attempting to sabotage my fellow nominees in the Strong Romantic Elements category through emails attacking their personal character (did you know Susan Boyer hates spinach?  I’m serious, there’s no way we can let someone who’s anti-vegetable win the category, can we??), I’m confident that the bonds we form at conference time will be lasting and strong.

Unless I lose.  And then I am gonna tear that place up.  JD Robb Style.

 

Everyone has their own experiences of being a GH finalist.  What are yours?  Anything that I missed?  And do you think Team Corvette is going to go the Gandhi-route or should we expect paint bombs?

81 responses to “Meet 2012 Golden Heart Finalist Nikki McIntosh”

  1. Nikki McIntosh says:

    Thanks for welcoming me Rubies!!! Your group has been so welcoming and we’re all psyched to be on your blog. Thanks Elisa for all the work in setting this up … I know it’s a ton!!

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  2. Liz Bemis says:

    Nikki,

    Welcome! And I just have to say, that was HILARIOUS!!! Thanks for starting my morning off with a smile!

    Liz

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Liz!! It’s definitely been a fun experience getting caught up all of this hoopla … as you know from being a finalist yourself a few times.

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  3. Jean Willett says:

    Well snorting one’s smoothie isn’t becoming…but what the hey 🙂
    Nikki, you will have competition from Romily for the funniest Firebird at the table. I hope I’m not sitting between you two. I’ll have to wear a neck brace from the witty repartee!

    All the hoopla dies down a bit, but I think we’ve bonded a few feathers and we’ll stick it out, encouraging each other.

    See you soon! And good luck 🙂

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      I wonder if it’s too late to change my seating chart … 🙂

      Thanks Jean!! And I think snorting is acceptable, as long as you’re in private.

      See you soon … and good luck to you too!!

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  4. Hi Nikki,

    Too funny. I want to be you in my next life. I love, love love, funny dialogue. Can’t wait to read your book.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Kathleen! Anaheim will be a ton of fun once we get to see everyone in person … I can’t wait!!

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  5. Terri Osburn says:

    This blog should have come with a warning. I just spewed English muffin all over my keyboard. *shakes out keyboard*

    Now you must win. I want to hear that speech! You’ve nailed this experience perfectly. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Especially my fellow Firebirds. Being part of this group is the real win.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      I agree Terri … part of me is a little scared about meeting y’all… we’re going to have TOO much fun I think. 🙂 But it’s been so great and so positive … it will be weird when it’s conference is over .. will feel like “regular” life again ..

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  6. Nikki, Nikki, Nikki…You’re killin’ me! How could you have forgotten to talk about the oh so wonderful experience of having that all-important mug shotheadshot taken? Along with the dire threat that we’ll be seeing them all on “the big screen” at the awards ceremony.

    If Faking It is half as funny as your blog post, then the rest of us NSRE finalists are doomed.

    Can’t wait to see you in Anaheim!

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  7. Kat Cantrell says:

    Ha! As the unofficial head of Team Corvette, I’ve been instructed to inform you we’re letting it slide for now (but I asked to sit next to you at the awards ceremony. You might wanna keep an eye on your elbow. Just sayin’…)

    PS I honestly forget who my “competition” is. It’s been so much fun meeting everyone that I rarely even think about it. Can’t wait to see everyone! Two weeks! ACK. So much to do.

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    • I agree — what competition?!

      It’s truly a sisterhood of writers who are there to cheer each other on, revel in the successes, and soothe the disappointments.

      And I can’t wait to meet you all (and force-feed Susan some spinach.)

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Kat,

      So you’re behind the mutiny!!! 🙂 I know you only want to sit next to me to secure my vote .. I can be bought … it’s happened before … 🙂

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  8. Oberon says:

    LOL, Nikki! Thank you for a fun morning. Looking forward to meeting you in Anaheim.

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  9. robena grant says:

    Loved this, Nikki. It’s great to start the day with a laugh (and coffee) and I’m still smiling imagining you giving that speech. Contemporary/romantic comedy is my all time fave, so I’m looking forward to reading your story. Good luck at Nationals.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Robena. I’m sure I won’t get to give a speech … I’ve read the blurbs of the other nominees .. but I am definitely gonna give a ‘whazzup bitches’ when I meet you guys for the first time!! 🙂

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  10. Nikki, you are hilarious! Count me among the coffee-snorters. Just so you know, I LOVE spinach, and all other vegetables. 🙂 I’m with Debbie, as funny as you are, the rest of us are sunk.

    I love the elbow pose and your speech. 🙂 In fact, just because Rachel said we must have one, I’m going to “borrow” yours–just in case. Also, I may run around Anaheim mimicking your pose, as my elbow is no doubt my best feature.

    Great post–thanks for the morning chuckle. Cannot wait to finally meet you in person! It’s almost here!!!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Ha Susan! I was afraid I should have warned you that I mentioned you in my post, but you seem up for a good time!!

      Now I can’t WAIT to see your pose!!

      Nikki

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  11. Hellion says:

    OMG, this is the funniest blog. *LOL* And I cannot wait to read FAKING IT. I hope it is bought, published and sold soon! I won’t be in Anaheim, but now I’m a little disappointed I’m going to miss it. Just to see you rock that elbow and all, and wear your TEAM CORVETTE t-shirt proudly as you’re buying rounds of tequila with your agent’s credit card…

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Hellion?? I love the name. Too bad we won’t meet in Anaheim … and I never thought of a Team Corvette shirt, but now I’m going to have to get one!! Thanks!!

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  12. Welcome to the Ruby blog and congrats on your final. I agree with the rest. Your blog is LOL. Great voice. I wish I was heading to CA to meet all of you, but someone has to stay behind and tend the blog. Next year.

    Congrats and good luck!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Autumn … I know I’m looking forward to my first conference … it’s a shame you can’t be there, but I suspect there are lots of conferences in our GH finalists future!!!

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  13. Kay Hudson says:

    You definitely nailed it, Nikki. I can’t wait to see all the Firebirds and Starcatchers and Unsinkables and Rubies, and all the other Sisters who’ve been on this wild rollercoaster ride.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Kay – I can’t wait to meet all the girls as well … it really is like a sorority of sorts. Looking forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

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  14. Tamara Hogan says:

    Love your speech! I dare ya. 😉

    One of the things I most vividly remember about GH Night is honestly not caring whether I won or not – good thing, because I didn’t. (Hi, Darynda, sweetie!) Like the actors and actresses say on the red carpet on Oscar night, “It’s an honor being nominated.” Believe them.

    It was an honor, and three years later it remains my honor to call this group of amazing, talented and resilient women my friends. Thanks for having my back, sisters.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Tamara – I agree with you on being nominated .. it doesn’t matter to me at ALL about winning … I’m just so excited to be here in this party!!!

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  15. OMG, Nikki–this post was so much fun! I cannot wait to meet you in Anaheim and admire (or avoid, if you go into JD mode) your elbows!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      You too Wendy … I love your picture and you’ll be one of those people I’m seeking out when I go there … you look like fun!!! See you soon!

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  16. Vivi Andrews says:

    LOL. Nikki, I know this is sudden, but I think I love you. Will you be my BFF?

    Congrats on the final!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Vivi – you’re the first offer for a BFF, so DONE. I’m in!! You might regret it … 🙂

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  17. Tammy Baumann says:

    Ha! Great Post!!

    And I DOUBLE DOG Dare you to announce to that room you’re going after Nora! (She’s one tough chick, just so you know.) Btw, if I win can you read my speech? I think you’d do it so much better.

    Oh, and I’m working on an ankle pose (complete with bright Firebird Tattoo) that shows just a touch of calf. We’ll have a competition in the hall, you and me. ;0)

    But seriously, I think one of the reasons there’s no jealousy among this group is because really, can there ever be too many good books published? And you know ALL of our books rock!

    See ya soon.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Tammy – the ankle is brilliant!! I should have thought of that … elbow is so much more awkward in photos. I agree on the jealousy thing, I can’t wait for any one of the ladies in my category to win … it will be very exciting since I feel like I know some of them now

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  18. Beth Langston says:

    I enjoyed reading this post.

    And you are so right. The friendships are the best. For the record, you may not cling to any Rubies/Firebirds; we had them first.

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  19. FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS! Great post, Nikki! I definitely want to hang with you in Anaheim, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to compete if we end up in a stand-up comedy showdown. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I’ve been a finalist seven times and won twice, and I will admit, winning can’t be beat. However, just being nominated is pretty darn fantastic, too. Requests are nice, a contract is even better, but the friendships formed from being a GH finalist can be the biggest reward of all.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      There’s a stand-up comedy showdown?? I”m in!! 🙂 Finalist 7 times is amazing Laurie … and since I’m so new (first time conference, first time finalist) I really am glad about being nominated. Winning would be cool, but the whole week will just be overwhelming/exciting in itself … can’t wait.

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      • It’s only amazing because I didn’t sell ANY of my books, Nikki. It’s nothing to brag about. But my stories are selling now–without NY’s help. And the agents and editors all said no one would buy a book set in the Vietnam War era. HA!

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  20. Anna Stewart says:

    Nikki,you have no idea how much I needed a laugh today–and this blog is fabulous. If your fiction voice is anything close to this, I can now sit back and pretty much assume I won’t have to climb those stairs. Seriously, for me, the right blog at the right time. Thank you. 🙂

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      My fiction voice mostly gets drunk and looks up old boyfriends on Facebook … she’s not reliable.

      Glad to hear you got a laugh Anna (I still always want to call you AJ) … and I can’t WAIT to meet all the SRE girls. We are going to have a blast!!!

      Nikki

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  21. What surprised me most? I think that firebird tattoo orders came right on the heels of firebird pin orders. … And that ideas for how to write your pitch were mingled with instructions for how to make a martini in your hotel room. … 🙂

    Great group for sure!

    Awesome post, Nikki!

    Can’t wait to meet you in Anaheim!

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  22. Nikki, you always make me grin. Congrats to all the Firebirds. Anaheim is going to be a wild place. I’ll be toasting you all from NS. Not long now… Nikki, do they know about your whip?

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Bev!! The whip hasn’t come up yet … but I can never keep it a secret for too long … 🙂

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  23. Elise Hayes says:

    I’m a collarbone gal myself (my dress had a nice, wide neckline to set it off and then I just had to remember to keep my chin tucked in to enhance the line of that bone… :), but the elbow’s a good option, too (a little flashier…but hey, if you win the GH, go with the flash!).

    Loved the blog. Good luck in Anaheim!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Wow Elise – you were waaaaay ahead of the curve on pre-prepping a body part!! 🙂

      Thanks for the good luck!!!

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  24. Renee Field says:

    This is why I love you Nikki. Your pov is just you. I can’t wait to read this book. And a publisher should only be to happy to have you!

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  25. Great post!

    (I’m hiding my shaking in fear as you are our RWAC Prez. and we all respect that).

    I hope you have an awesome RWA 2012 and I look forward to seeing you there! I may be wearing body armour… y’know for the take downs at the end of your speech.

    🙂

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Since you’ze my date, I’m expecting you to be the bodyguard for sure … and just like Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, things might take a turn for the romantic … you’ve been warned …

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  26. I so want to be your date for the GH ceremony.

    Just checked – If I buy a car on my credit card I can get enough airmiles for the trip!!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Yes, that’s great … a car to get free airmiles … you always have all the great plans!!!! 🙂

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  27. Annette Gallant says:

    I’m so bummed I’m not going to Anaheim! 🙁

    Anyway, wishing you and all the Firebirds a great experience at Nationals. Take lots of pics and can’t wait to hear all about it!!!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Will definitely take lots of pics … and will tweet regularly .. probably after a few wines … 😉

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  28. Shawna says:

    Hey, Nikki. I’d like to say how funny I thought your post was, but sadly, I know you’re not joking. :p

    Good luck in Anaheim! Does Zac Efron live around there?

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      You know me too well Shawna!!!! Everyone thinks I’m just being funny … 🙂

      Zac Efron … sigh … I hope so …

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  29. Can I copy your speech? (Can you imagine if every single GH winner gave a tongue in cheek speech? The audience wouldn’t know what hit them. Ha.)

    Every time I mention a fellow Firebird to my husband, he wants to know if she’s in my category. And if I say yes, he says, “Why are you being nice to each other???”

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      ha! I love that .. you think that we would all be unwilling to share with each other … but I think I’m rooting for the girls in MY category more than any other!!

      thanks Talia … really looking forward to meeting you … especially since you’re practically Nova Scotian!!! 🙂

      Nikki

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  30. Oh, how I wish I was going to the conference to see your mug shot on the big screen, Nikki!! Good luck to everyone, and I will be thinking of you on the big night!!

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Thanks Julianne – I wish it wasn’t so far away this year from us … but at least Donna and Tara are going so I’ll have some RWAC love … but I’ll be thinking of you guys!!!!

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  31. Meg Kassel says:

    Hi Nikki, I love the opening line of your speech! And the closing one, come to think of it. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s overwhelmed by the group messages. I’ve retreated to mostly lurker status, but can’t wait to meet you and everyone else in Anaheim.

    Meg (Hey! I live in Maine. We’re practically neighbors.)

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      We ARE practically neighbours!!! My heroine in my book lives in Maine because I think it’s probably the perfect place to live … much like where I’m from 🙂

      See you soon!!

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  32. Okay, I’m late to the party, but I LOVED this. Congrats, Nikki! Cannot wait to read your stuff!!

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  33. Heidi Hamburg says:

    Hey, Nikki, congrats on your feed the computers campaign! Muffins, smoothies, lots of coffee- soon won’t be a starving keyboard left in RWA-land.

    Wish I were going, too. And not just to hear your speech. (Totally you, BTW.) Have fun, Firebirds. Especially RWAC Firebirds.

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    • Nikki McIntosh says:

      Heidi – leave it to you to find the common thread … feeding the keyboards … love that! 🙂 I wish you were going too … we’d have a hoot!

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  34. “I had to hire a couple of middle-school girls to manage my email for me so that I could do the ‘extras’ in my life, like shower and eat. Although I had to skirt a few child labor laws…”

    LOL!

    Yet so true.

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  35. Karen says:

    Nikki,

    You are going to be an absolute blast to hang out with at the conference.

    Loved your post. Can’t wait to meet you.

    Karen

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  36. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks so much for being with us today, Nikki!

    Can’t wait to meet you in Anaheim!

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  37. […] in the GH with her FAKING IT. She posted a blog about her experiences  as a GH finalist at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood.  Go read it. It’s funny as hell. She’s funny as hell. And her writing voice is the […]

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