The Mark Twain Award:
Since fellow author Kirby Larson said in her comment, “I didn’t see your Mark Twain fiasco story — do tell!” I guess I’d better fess up. By the way you can see more about Kirby and her books on her website www.kirbylarson.com.
Okay time to confess: I flew to Missouri this month to attend MASL, a wonderful school librarian conference at the Tan-Tar-A resort. The conference was packed and I met hundreds of dedicated school librarians. After teaching two workshops, I attended the Awards Banquet where I gave a short speech (I was told to make it short) and accepted the 2005 Mark Twain Award for WENNY HAS WINGS. I began the speech with a dedication to my father who passed away last year. He was a Mark Twain fanatic and actually greeted me at the door one time wearing a white wig and white suit. “Come in and sit down,” he said. “Here’s my Mark Twain performance piece!”
After the speech, I went off to sign books and was thrilled to see a long line of people actually waiting to get their books signed — a heavenly sight to any writer.
After signing about 150 books, my head was swimming. I left the room and mistakenly left the award (bust of Mark Twain) behind. I think he was hiding behind the flowers on the table?
It was about midnight before I realized my mistake. I was already in my jammies so
I threw on my clothes and raced down to the lounge. The security guard let
me in the room to search but Mark was gone. Maybe one of the librarians helping me at the signing saw that I’d left the bust behind and was holding it for me? I hoped so! I was way worried that night. A person doesn’t show gratitude for winning an award by abandoning it a few hours later! Oi!
I tried to keep the fact that I’d lost the award fairly mum the next morning.
I confessed it to the conference staff and they got on their walkie-talkies “Janet
Carey has lost the Mark Twain Award.”
So much for keeping it mum!
Mark arrived safely and was back in my hands 10 minutes before I left for the airport. A librarian had picked it up and given it to a librarian who gave it to another librarian . . . to give it to me.
I suppose I was a bit of comic relief for the conference. Mark T. is safely on
my piano now and he has a pretty mischievous look on his face. Thought he’d escape the way Huck Finn did? No way!
So that’s my writing life story until next time.