I am posting this photo only because I was recently interviewed by Lori Van Hoesen and she asked me where I keep my Newbery Honor medal. . . I had to break it to her, gently, that those of us in the Sterling Society do not get medals, exactly. We get plaques. Mine hangs on my Wall of Fame in my office, which is to the left of my desk. The Newbery Honor plaque is kept company by some of my favorite momentoes:
A cover of Hattie, with sticker, framed with the NY Times Bestseller List when she hit number 5 (a cherished gift from my cherished editor)
The original cover of Hattie, sans sticker, a gift from my Write Sisters (Tricia Gardella, Helen Ketteman, Mary Nethery, Ann Whitford Paul, Dian Curtis Regan and Vivian Sathre), with help from jacket illustrator Jonathan Barkat.
A Newbery Medal poster, signed by Jennifer Holm, Cynthia Lord and Susan Patron (a gracious and thoughtful gift from Susan Patron)
A “Mattie’s Magic” quilt square, given to me by my friends at the Storyteller Bookstore in LaFayette, California
An honorary MFA degree, bestowed by my beloved friends at the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program, and
in the center perhaps my most treasured award, hand-made by my ten-year-old friend, E.
Another souvenir that’s not on the wall but is on my bulletin board is a charming card, from an editor friend, sent last year on my First Anniversary of being a Newbery Honor. Hard to beat that for sweet.
I do love these reminders of the incredible ride Hattie’s taken me on. I can’t say that I look at them all that often; generally, my eyes are glued to the screen in front of me.
So, thank you, Lori, for giving me this chance to stop and reflect on the blessings of my writing career.
They are many and they don’t always take the form of plaques or awards.
To quote my friend, Roland Smith: “We [writers] are so lucky. Some people actually have to work for a living.”