Here’s a photo from Creative Burlington awards night. I’m in the middle. Barbara Orr (writer) is on your left and Don Ford(The Burlington Post)is on the right. They presented me with my award, performing the opening-of-the-envelope-with-the-winner ceremony.

As in all the arts, merit is not always rewarded fairly. The real successes in a writer’s life have to be measured internally. Certainly, I have my share of fan mail to show me that my stories have connected with my audiences. I have two readers(that I know of) who have gone on to foster many guide dogs as a result of reading the Bringing Up Beauty Series. A girl with an eating disorder wrote me over Walking a Thin Line.
A waitress spontaneously hugged me because her daughter had read Grave Secrets the night before after one of my school visits, her first book ever. There have been so many great testimonies to emotional responses to my stories.
I guess I’m listing these non-trophies because I’m feeling unhappy with my commercial success of late. I love all three of my jobs, writing novels for kids, editing Today’s Parent Toronto and spending time in schools as an “artist in education” or as a visiting author.
But I would like the option of donating more to charity, paying off my mortgage as well as handing out down payments to my wonderful kids who give me so much joy. Or taking a friend to lunch and paying the tab.
Instead, I’ll take another moment to savour this award as I sip from my cup of coffee this morning, watching the sunrise. Ahhh.

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