on traveling west toward librarians, friends, and the Carolyn W. Field Honor Award

Monday, October 21, 2013

Only a week ago, my husband and I made the long drive out to Bradford, PA, on behalf of book we are creating for a client. I walked an oil refinery. I walked a town. I talked to a college president, a hospital leader, a man who stands at the heart of that community's cultural landscape. I saw things. I was reminded of the power of traveling far beyond myself.

In an hour, in this dark morning, I'll get into my car again, drive west again, stop an hour from here, and wait for a rented gray Impala. Behind the wheel will be my friend, A.S. King, who has been on the front end of a whirlwind tour for her new much-heralded book, Reality Boy. She'll drive the rest of the way, out west again, this time to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, where the librarians of Pennsylvania and other writers—K.M. Walton, Eugene Myers, Kit Hain Grindstaff, Philip Beard, and Kathleen George—have gathered.

Amy has a talk to give, for she is to receive the Carolyn W. Field Award in honor of the best children's book by a Pennsylvania author (for Ask the Passengers). I am blessed to be a Carolyn W. Field Honor winner (for Small Damages). We are mostly blessed, we Pennsylvania writers, that librarians are choosing to share this day with us.

Into the dark, then, I go. Grateful for friends, grateful for people who believe in books, and grateful for the chance, again, to travel far beyond myself.


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