Monday, June 13, 2011

A Brush and a Mirror

So....dare I say we've all done it? Held a hairbrush (or whatever's handy) as if it's a microphone and practiced our Oscar-winning speech in the mirror? Oh. No? Not everyone? Just me? Well, that's embarrassing....

If you haven't guessed already, I was watching the 65th Annual Tony Awards on TV last night. I'm not an actor, but it's nice to dream. I'm not a playwright, either, but I dabble. Of course, watching the show makes me want to throw it all away and start writing The Great American Stage Play so that someday I might be able to get up on stage and cry and thank a bunch of people. The only thing that stops me is the knowledge that playwriting is not the medium in which I speak best. I'm a novelist because it's what I love, and what I'm good at.

But watching people who have risen to the epitome of their profession is always inspiring. It reassures me that all the hard work might actually be worth it in the end. For my particular world, the Tony/Oscar equivalent is the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards, which are announced in mid-winter and awarded in June at the ALA national conference. I'll be headed down to New Orleans for said conference in a couple of weeks. A few close friends/colleagues have been honored this year and I look forward to celebrating these honors with them.

Full disclosure requires me to admit that my first novel actually won one of these awards, a New Talent award under the Coretta Scott King Awards banner. (Yay!) I've even been to a televised award show (the NAACP Image Awards) for the same book. (Woot.) That was over a year ago, and I'm still very pleased and proud to have earned these mentions, but it doesn't stop me from dreaming of hitting the same jackpot again, and it certainly doesn't stop me from dreaming even bigger.

Who do you thank in your mirror acceptance speeches? If you sincerely dream of being on one of those famous stages, what are you doing RIGHT NOW that might help get you there?

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