When was the last time you got so excited that you started crying? You know that kind of excited happiness that just overwhelms you, and then you end up crying like a fool. Well, for me, it was last night, and I am still bursting this morning so I had to sit down to share it with all of you.
Last night I found out that a friend, Kevin Thornton, has been short listed for Best Short Story by the Crime Writers of Canada for the Arthur Ellis Awards. To be honest, I had not heard about these awards until a few years ago, but it was established in 1984. Kevin has been nominated five times, so that alone tells you his level of writing. But this year, the extra kick is that he has been nominated against Margaret Atwood. When your name starts getting put on short lists with the literary Queen of Canada, people should start paying attention. But I am not going to leave it up to Kevin to toot his own horn, as he never does.
When I first started reading Kevin's work, I found myself reading it out loud to hubby or the kids. I only read out loud when I get really into a piece, and it doesn't happen as much as I would like. I thought Kevin was only writing columns for the Today, and then happily discovered he had a blog. I would patiently wait for the morsels that he would throw out for me to devour. I was hooked. I can remember reading one piece that he did around Remembrance Day about three years ago, and at the end of it I decided that I wanted to meet him. It was around the same time that I discovered he also wrote fiction. He really does suck at self promotion. The way that Kevin uses words makes other writers like myself wish that we were better. And although he doesn't realize it, after spending any amount of time with him, I am always inspired to write something, or at least try to, because when he talks about writing, it invokes a passion or pull that only other writers can understand. It has happened with a few people in town with me over the last few years, and I feel lucky that they all share their passion so freely with the rest of us.
On May 28 the Awards will presented in Toronto, and I am so hoping that Kevin will be able to attend. Can you imagine if you were nominated against Atwood and then if he wins? No one deserves it more, Kevin works so hard, but also enjoys the whole process so much, and he is so completely humble about his talent that it just makes you like him more.
No matter what happens on the 28th, we already know you are an amazing writer Kevin, but it would be pretty sweet to take the award home and sit it on your desk and let it be a reminder of the time that you kicked Margaret Atwood's butt and made us all so proud.