Thanks for your responses to the “Big News from Orillia”
I have had an amazing list of wonderful moments in my long life, but we’re going to have to go some to top April 24, 2014.
My second book, The Promised Land – a novel of Cape Breton, was shortlisted along with four others for the 2014 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Prior to the announcement, I took particular pains to not get the carts and horses mixed up. Just making the shortlist – and for the second time – was a hefty honour. I also knew that I was up against some pretty impressive and experienced heavy hitters: Red Green, Arthur Black, Wayne Johnston and Jane Christmas. I wanted to win the gold, but a silver sticker in that company is something to be proud of anyway.
And gold it was. I had done such a good job of protecting myself against disappointment that it was a full ten minutes (I had already completed my acceptance speech) before it started to sink in. Lots of attention, lots of congratulations, lots of books to sign, articles in at least eight or nine newspapers, and my little Dad, who is 93, heard the announcement on CBC.
The win is good, the recognition is fine, the money will come in handy. What is more important to me than any of those things is the number of friends who wrote or called to say that they shared in my excitement. My Inbox overfloweth. Thanks to everyone for that. When I’m hunched over my keyboard in the back room and the job seems impossible, I will remember that you’re out there and forge ahead.