Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feeling Like a Winner

Even though I didn't win an Oregon Book Award Sunday night. How could I not, when other non-winners included Molly Gloss, Judith Barrington and Cynthia Rylant? What glorious company!

Seriously, it was a joy just to be there at the Portland Art Museum, and my extremely brief acceptance speech (I was told to prepare one by Literary Arts and I follow rules well), indicates how little I expected to win. The acceptance speeches were award-winning all by themselves. The highlight of the awards, for me, was Sara Ryan winning the Leslie Brandshaw Award for Young Adult Literature in a tie with Linda Zuckerman. Her book, The Rules for Hearts, is the follow up to Empress of the World, which also won an Oregon Book Award, and was a Lambda Finalist.

The highlight of the night was Jean Auel saying she'd like to buy a copy of my book and asking me to sign it, to which I responded, "Really?" and she said, "Really." I guess I was geeking out.

All Wordstock weekend I felt like a rockstar, not a middle-aged stay-at-home mom author of a memoir and a slew of social commentary articles. The Queer Portland Panel was a hit with Wordstock attendees, and was mentioned in Willamette Week as a sleeper hit of the festival. The reading at 5pm Sunday that I shared with fellow Finalists for the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction was a blast, and I was blown away by Jill Kelly and Lauren Kessler's words and Christopher Van Tilburg's photographs. And all weekend I walked around with a name tag indicating I was SOMEBODY and got to hang out in the VIP lounge, where I met Alison Bechdel, Nena Baker and glimpsed Lynda Barry from across the room. Thank you Wordstock!
*photo by Kathy Belge

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