The CNIB helped me with the research for A Different Kind of Beauty. While my Bringing Up Beauty series was immensely successful both in Canada and in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany–immensely successful did not translate into wealth. More like a bit of living–the kind a full time retail person might earn. So a small donation to Lions Foundation Dog Guides, with no big donation for CNIB’s help and efforts.
Would I also perhaps appear to hand out the prizes. It was a wonderful opportunity for a bit of a payback to an organization that does so much.
Fifty entries translated from Braille arrived. It took me two chapters’ worth of writing time to read them and write comments for each and finally to judge. This was during August when writing time was at a premium. The rest of the world was at the beach.
Then October 30th, a Friday morning, early, early, I made my way downtown for the 8 a.m. meeting at the Mariott and found the four winning writers who were invited to the conference, told each how wonderful I thought their work was.
Once the official introductions and a presentation on playing visually impaired hockey were over, it was our turn. I spoke on the judging process and told the conference attendants a bit about the winners. The writers read their poems and stories. They were such an enthusiastic bunch, great dramatic readers. Sadie was a jumper and a hugger. I hugged them all and handed them their certificates and cheques
What a privilege to be celebrity enough to make them feel special for a day.