So, last week my father-in-law and husband and I were in Denver for the Tattered Cover reading, and we passed the beautiful and enormous Denver Performing Arts Center-- a sparkly, oddly-angled silver-and-glass structure-- an ultra-modern fairy palace. I mentioned I'd never been in there before, but would welcome an excuse to go... then lo and behold, yesterday, as I was doing some last minute map-questing to figure out how to get to the Colorado Book Awards banquet, I discovered that it's held in that very building!
I was one of three finalists in the young adult category (the lovely Hilari Bel, author of the Farsala Trilogy, which I've just started reading-- it's wonderful so far, and T.A. Barron, who I've never met, but heard he's a great guy-- author of the Tree of Avalon books) were the others. The whole event was lots of fun-- Ian was there, of course, along with my writer friends Leslie Patterson (and her hubby Dave) and Teresa Funke and Karla Oceanak and Laura Pritchett came down from Fort Collins to celebrate. My friend Denise Vega, last year's winner, was there too, along with the fabulous women in her writing group.
The first winner announced-- in the picture book category-- was Kathleen Pelley, a delightful Scottish-born woman whose trilling, dancing voice you want to listen to forever... she wrote Inventor McGregor, which is a fantastic picture book for all ages-- a story about how the creative spirit blossoms best in cheery, higgledy-piggledy places. I'm going to reread her book whenever I need a snippet of a song or a whirl of a fling to get my creative juices flowing...
And next came the young adult category-- that's the category for What the Moon Saw. As the mc was announcing the winner, my heart was actually making an extremely loud boom-boom-boom sound, to the point where the booming was drowning out what she was saying, and when she said my name it sounded far away (seems like that kind of thing happens in books all the time, but once in a while it happens in real life, too...) So, I managed to make my feet move and walk to the stage without tripping, and meanwhile, Ian and the other folks at my table were cheering and whirling their napkins with abandon, which made me happy.
As the evening went on, I was extra-happy that my table-mates Ben Fogelberg and Steve Grinstead won in the non-fiction category for their book Walking Into Colorado's Past. Ian and I are already planning out which hikes we want to do this fall.
The whole evening made me very grateful to be in the community of Colorado writers-- they're a fun, generous, talented, friendly bunch of people. It was truly a huge honor being part of last night's festivities and surrounded by so much great energy and warmth.