Thursday, October 05, 2006

Carnivals and Silver Pens!

The latest Change of Shift is up over at Emergiblog. There's a lot of great stuff in this issue (and I'm not just saying that because Kim included three of my posts . . . eeep!). Among many other things, this edition will make you rethink some of what you thought you knew about nationalized health care, and will also give you insights into some, ah, interesting ways to pay for nursing school.

And while we're on the subject of carnivals, please don't forget that the deadline for the October 13 Carnival of Hope is next Thursday, October 12, at 5 PM Pacific Time. Please e-mail your submission directly to me, SusanPal (at) aol (dot) com, including "Carnival of Hope" in the subject line. Your own brief description of the post would be very helpful. I'm particularly interested in posts about how to maintain hope in grim political times, since some of what's happening right now is very frightening indeed. The ACLU called last night, and although I ordinarily have no patience with telemarketers, I both listened to the spiel and gave them twice my normal pledge amount afterwards. (A lot of people I know are linking to this right now, and Will Shetterly has posted this unsettling little report. There's lots more, but I'm sure you can find it on your own.)

On a much happier note, the Silver Pen ceremony on Tuesday was much more fun than I expected. It was in a lovely setting -- the swank golf club has huge windows looking out on the mountains -- and there was excellent food: sushi, sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, little curried-chicken treats. Two female friends who were there made a point of lavishly praising my outfit (bless them!), and many people have said that I did a good job with my reading, although I was much happier listening to Ellen Hopkins, who also won a Silver Pen, and to Ann Ronald, who was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Some church friends and a number of university colleagues were there, and that did a lot to raise my comfort level.

I'd been planning to wear flat shoes, but discovered a problem with a loose sole right before we left, so I wore heels for the first time in years. I managed to stay upright the entire time, but the experience definitely reminded me why I've been avoiding heels all this time.

So I'm now the proud owner of a sterling silver Cross pen with my name engraved on it, and also of a Certificate of Commendation from Senator Harry Reid. What a hoot!

We had pictures taken afterwards -- both serious shots and goofy ones where the three of us mugged for the camera -- and the photographer's supposed to e-mail those to me, but hasn't yet. I'll probably post at least one when I get them, if they're halfway decent.

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