Saturday, August 12, 2006

Award News!

I've been selected as one of the 2006 recipients of a Silver Pen Award by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. The Silver Pen Award recognizes emerging or mid-career writers who've shown a significant attachment to Nevada. Here's the press release.

Ann Ronald, who's being inducted into the Hall of Fame itself, is a colleague of mine in the UNR English Department. I don't know Ellen Hopkins, the other Silver Pen recipient, but her work sounds very powerful.

I've actually known about this for a week -- I got the phone call last Saturday morning, and spent the rest of the day doing the Snoopy dance around the house -- but I wasn't allowed to tell anyone except Gary and my parents until the press release came out. I love Nevada, so this makes me exceedingly happy.

The awards reception is a benefit for the Friends of the UNR Library, so if you're reading this and you live in the Reno area, I'm supposed to try to sell you a ticket. I couldn't even sell Girl Scout cookies when I was a kid, but at least I'm trying, right? Here's the page with the info about how to buy tickets. You have to scroll down a little to get to the blue box about the reception.

I'll get to do a short reading at the reception, so now I have to find a 10-12 minute chunk from The Necessary Beggar that will work as a standalone. That's going to be a bit of a challenge, but I'll figure out something.


  1. Nevada is too far for me to travel, but congratulations!

  2. Many, many congratulations on a well-deserved spot of recognition. I really couldn't be happier for you, and Nv couldn't have found a better recipeint.

  3. Thank you, gentlemen! (Scott: Is that panda on your homepage an actual living animal?)

  4. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Shucks Susan,

    We'll be in Atlanta October third. You join a distinguished group of "Nevadans" with this honor. Were we able to attend the festivities I would sing a rousing "Home Means Nevada," a song you probably don't know because you didn't go to elementary school here. Nevertheless, it's a song that truly applies to you. "Home means the sage and the pine."


    Sharon and Bill

  5. Yes, that is an actual living panda. The photo was taken in Woolong City (outside of Chengdu), which is where all the pandas in every zoo in the world come from. It's about a 2 1/2 hour hour drive from Chengdu (or was when I was there).

    I felt a great deal of cognitive dissonance while there. China only lends each foreign zoo a single pair at a time, so we never really see more than two pandas at a time. Some part of my subconscious insisted that no more than two at a time were possible. And there were 44 of them!

    Also, any pandas I'd ever seen before were barely moving, as the heat usually left them torpid. It was freezing at our 6,000 feet elevation, and the pandas were in their element, leaping and frolicking, with some climbing trees, and others playing tug of war with bamboo stalks.

    I was stunned when a zookeeper went into one of the panda habitats, hugged a young panda around the stomach, picked it up, placed it on a park bench, gave it an apple, and then gestured for me to sit beside it. I did, and when I was a little shy about getting too close, the zookeeper told me to pet it. So we sat there, the young panda and I, looking at each other as he ate his apple, and I patted his head as my hosts snapped the picture you saw.

  6. What a great story, Scott! Thanks for sharing it! Is panda fur as soft as it looks?

    Ellen Datlow has some pictures of herself with a koala bear (taken in Australia, iirc). I lead a dull existence, and have only been photographed with my cats.

  7. Yes, they are. Sort of a cross between cotton candy and thick carpeting. It's very soft and very thick, and your hand sinks right in.

  8. Congratulations Susan! This is awesome!


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