Giving Thanks for My Special Recognition Award
Considering I’ve been up on the Literary Stage promoting my literary department at the San Mateo County Fair for the past four years, I was both excited and surprisingly nervous when it came to be my turn to climb the steps up to the stage at the Diamond Awards ceremony on Friday Jan 25, 2013.
Let’s just blame it on my slippery silver shoes.
I was given an amazing introduction by last year’s Individual Artist recipient Troy Paiva, whom I’d had the pleasure of meeting when he participated in my first Author Book Day stage event in 2010. Troy gave me such an easy-going welcome, his smiling face relaxed me so I could find my voice.
I wanted to describe how it’s been my passion and my pleasure to give writers a presence and a voice at the San Mateo County Fair since 2009.
I started by thanking my husband Boris Koodrin, the visionary artist and muralist who directs the Fine Arts Galleria. I never would have been nominated for such a prestigious award without him, for he is truly the genius behind the scene.
Boris’ philosophy of Carry the Light is the cornerstone from which he has nurtured and grown the Fine Arts department.
Simply put, Carry the Light is all about following following your smallest inclination to its greatest conclusion.
I thanked Matt Cranford, Fair Manager, for giving me the freedom and flexibility I needed to make my vision a reality. He gave me the stage and the sound system I needed to provide writers with a voice so they could tell their stories.
Everyone has a story, you see, and my purpose is to give each one of my writers the gift of telling their stories on the Literary Stage for all to hear. The foundation of my success — the “events within the event” centers on the SF/Peninsula Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club, the oldest such club in the United States founded by author Jack London and his friends in 1909.
Although they didn’t know me, I’d emailed the club and boldly asked if their members would like to give free workshops at the fair. They emailed back, intrigued by the invitation. They did ask for clarification: did I mean the county fair, the one with the cows and pigs, the ferris wheel and homemade jams? I sure did!
They did indeed come to the fair, and they gave incredible workshops and author presentations. They were such a professional group of people who truly care about the craft of writing, I felt that I’d come home, that I’d found my people. And they came back the next year! It has been very special creative collaboration I hope will continue for years to come.
There’s someone I was delighted to thank: Tory Hartmann. She’s helped me so much, I will write another post entitled Creative Cohorts that will tell you all about her and our special Carry the Light project.
I closed my acceptance speech by inviting the amazing and talented creative artists in the audience (some 200 people) to bring their passions, their talents, and their special projects to the Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair.
Throughout my speech, I kept referencing to my favorite saying, “Everyone has a story to tell.” I wove that in with a quote from my husband Boris, “We are all called to paint a masterpiece with our lives.”
So, if we all have a story to tell, we have a choice as to how to tell it. If we conduct ourselves with awareness and intent, we become Conscious Creators. My question to everyone was: If each one of us, as the conscious creators we are, chose to paint our lives as if it were a grand canvas, what kind of a masterpiece would we like to leave behind as our legacy?