Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It was a great celebration!

We ate great food with family and friend, had tres leches cake, flan Napolitano and we toasted with champagne last night. There was so much in my list much to celebrate!:

1. I love my work
2. My friends surround me
3. My editor rocks
4. My agent believes in me with fury
5. My son inspires me
6. My husband cheers for me
7. When the ALA book award announcements were made, I a got a flurry of emails from people all over the websphere (and Facebook)
8. Margarita Engle won the Pura Belpre medal for narrative AND a Caldecott Honor for her book THE SURRENDER TREE; POEMS OF CUBA’S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM. Viva las Latinas!
9. I adored THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, absolutely my kind of story—dead people, witches, ghouls and a boy raised by all of them.
10. The celebrations have just begun

On Sunday morning we went to the movies. And an s a good patron I turned off the ring of my cell phone. Mesmerized my son and I watched Slumdog Millionairie and took on its terror and its incredible beauty. Then, of course, I proceeded to forget to turn back on the ring of my phone. And that is why, when the ALA Pura Belpre Committee called me that night with the news that my book, JUST IN CASE, was the winner of their prestigious medal and an honor, instead of receiving the call, I continued knitting my last winter hat.
Second year in a row that I miss their call. Would they ever give me another opportunity?

I realized I had a message before going to bed as I took my phone to be recharged. The good thing about missing the call is that now I have the “secret” announcement recorded in my messages, and I can hear it again, and again—as I did that night—and dream of my work being cherished by librarians yelling in unison, “Just in Case!”

Of course I didn’t sleep that night! If, in its kindness, the Pura Belpre committee believes that they spare me sleep by not calling me on Monday mornings as is costmary, they are very wrong (they do this when the conference is taking place in a time zone ahead of mine, given that the official award announcements happen very early in the morning). Who could sleep with such news! Instead I spend my nigh jumping around the house, brewing a new Señor Calavera video, and anticipating the excitement and the surprises of the official announcements of all the awards in just a few hours.

There is much more to come; the planning for ALA in Chicago, the ironing of my best tie, the putting on cologne, the pumping the tires of my bike. But for now, it is time to get my butt back on the chair, my hand on the pencil, and continue dreaming books.

Making Just In Case from Yuyi Morales on Vimeo.

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