Two people whom I respect very much -- as writers, of course, but even more as good souls -- have bestowed awards on me. These awards mean a tremendous amount, because of what they represent and because of their grantors.
HUMBLE #1. Two weeks ago, in celebration of International Creativity Month, Deanna Shrayer created the Creative Genius Award.
Deanna named me along with these amazing writers: lyrical genius Alison Wells, noir genius with a heart Ant Venutolo, slice-of-life-makes-us-laugh-and-cry genius Cathy Oliffe-Webster, and brave and honest genius Rachel Blackbirdson. Of course, Deanna is a genius herself, a master of writing stories that move and for forging community.
I'm rather flabbergasted to be considered a creative genius. I think of genius as the spark, the seamless telling of truths, the conveying of vision. For me, writing is hard work, a process and practice in persistence. It's also finding courage to dig deep, to take risks with your words, to write huge. While everyone who writes is brave when the put down the words (and braver still to share them), a few fellow writers consistently place their convictions behind their words, and do so in beautiful ways. To me, this is genius. I celebrate:
Melissa, also known as WINDSPIRIT GIRL, for the use of images with words that cause me to pause and think (and feel) deeper.
John Wiswell, creator of THE BATHROOM MONOLOGUES, for somehow being able to invoke sadness, outrage, and humor simultaneously in his stories. Despite the veneer of humor in many of his pieces, there's usually a deeper, darker core.
Lou Freshwater, the woman behind BABY'S BLACK BALLOON, for words which always ring pure and true. She writes honest words about honest things that make us human.
Mark Kerkstetter, THE BRICOLEUR who layers words with art, and combines them to create provocative and evocative words. he says he is not a philosopher, but...
Please, check out these wonderful and generous writers. Learn from them. Enjoy them. And thank you Deanna for the tremendous honor.
HUMBLE #2. Late this afternoon, after a rather hectic day involving an ice storm which kept schools closed, the first day of college classes, meetings bunched back-to-back, I treated myself to a few facebook minutes and found Lou Freshwater had bestowed a rather special gift on me: the Sui Generis award. Last summer, Mark Kerstetter created this award for Cathy Oliffe-Webster, who then passed it along to Lou. So there is a wonderful geneology to this award, one I treasure.
In Mark's words: Sui generis: one of a kind. This is a token of appreciation for someone who's irreplaceable, someone unmistakable, someone who practices great and totally unique artistry.
A beautiful award. One to savor and keep close. I will pass it's spirit along when the time is right.
Thank you Lou. And Cathy. And Mark. I love your spirits. Peace, Linda