From Suzanne Morgan Williams:
This week I bought three pairs of high heeled shoes. Now before, I had one pair of high heeled boots in my closet. And I bought nylons too. I haven’t worn those since – maybe two and a half years ago. And I bought a glittery turquoise and silver jacket to go with my long black crepe skirt. What does this have to do with writing? Well, you never know where this business will take you – which is why I say be nice to people, consider all strange options, and talk to everybody.
Here’s the backstory. In 2008, I joined the class of 2k9 – mainly because my friend, Fran Cannon Slayton, said it would be cool. She was right. When our books began coming out in 2009, we arranged various group presentations – panels and signings. Stacy Nyikos from 2k8, contacted our group with an invitation to join some of her class at Encyclomedia, the Oklahoma Library Association’s Convention. With a book titled Bull Rider, I answered well, ye-ess! Then I began to question my sanity. I needed to fly to Oklahoma. I planned to stay five days for the event and to do a school visit in North Texas. This would cost me a bunch of money, even though I was staying at a $49 a night Super Eight. (Ahh, the glamorous life.) But I went.
And before I went, I made an appointment to meet with the Education Director at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. I figured as long as I was in the area I would pitch a writing workshop for students. While we were talking, she suggested my publisher enter Bull Rider for the Western Heritage Awards that are given for music, film, and literature every year by the museum. Did that. And the book won! Best Juvenile Book, 2010. The caveat was, that to get the cool statue that goes with the award I needed to go back to Oklahoma City and attend a black tie dinner. I didn’t (until last week) own a pair of nylons or a pair of high heels – except for those boots. So I was all over Face Book asking my friends where to get plus sized glittery clothes for the event. I have to say, the suggestions were not always G-rated. But the shopping has been fun.
Here’s my take: You never know where writing will lead you. For Rosanne Parry, it’s to Houston to get an award from Church and Temple Librarians for Heart of a Shepherd. And for Susannah French it’s to Washington D.C. to receive the Green Earth Book Award for Operation Redwood. For me, back to Oklahoma City for a Western Heritage Award, and who knows what else is in our future. To quote Dr. Seuss
OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.