A special night

Clarion 2011

Standing by the display table prior to the banquet. I'm holding the issue of CR containing "Homeless With Cancer."

Clarion 2011

A picture with novelist and screenwriter, Billie Letts.

Clarion 2011

In this picture, I'm receiving my award.

I just returned from the Association for Women in Communications Conference in Tulsa, where the Clarion Awards Celebration was held on Saturday night. I can’t put into words how it felt when the emcee called me up to receive my award.

The speaker for the evening was Billie Letts, a native Oklahomian who happens to be a bestselling author.  She’s best known for Where the Heart Is, a novel selected by Oprah for her reading club and turned into a movie starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, and Stockard Channing.  Billie talked about how shocked she was to be asked to speak at the event–reminding me of my own shock when I received the letter announcing that I’d won a Clarion–and how humbled she was to be occupying the same role as such groundbreaking media personalities as Ann Curry and Christine Armapour. When she read from two of her books, her voice came pouring out–convincing me more than ever that a writer’s passion for her work is what makes her story real (even if it’s fiction) and her words resonate.

The dress I’m wearing, by the way, was made for me by a tailor in Kathmandu. Borrowing my dad’s line, “You won’t believe how little it cost!”

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