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How Caller ID Nearly Prevented A Very Nice Sunday (Twice)

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I'm trying to figure out how to write this blog post. It wasn't the post I'd thought I'd be writing this morning — I actually have another major writing blog post that's going to go up later this afternoon, a collaborative thing with a bunch of awesome authors — and I reckon if I'd known how today was going to go when I was scheduling it, I would've done things differently.

Because today was the day of the ALA Youth Media Awards. You know, that fancy day when they announce the winner of the Newbery (for excellent children's books for 14 and under), the Caldecott (excellent illustrated children's books), and the Printz (excellent young adult books). I was keeping my eye on them for no other reason than the Alex Award winners would also be announced at the same time, and I generally make it a point to read and love all of the Alex Award winners.

But yesterday while I was vacuuming my house for company, my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number and I am hateful of telephones, so I nearly didn't pick it up, but then I thought: perhaps it is one of my author people's cellphone.

ME: Hello?
THEM: *garblesmackgarble*
ME: I can't quite —
THEM: *garblesmackErinfromgarblePrintzsmack*
ME: (thinking, this is a bad connection, truly, I thought they said Printz committee there!)

I then rambled incoherently in their ear about how I couldn't really hear them and moved into my piano room as if that would make the connection better (it did not) and then out of shame and regret that I couldn't hear the Printz committee when they were clearly trying very hard to be heard by me, I lied and told them I could understand them perfectly. So I'll relay the rest of the conversation to you, but in order to understand it, you have to imagine their voice with an octopus' accent. You know, watery.

THEM: We're calling to tell you that THE SCORPIO RACES has been awarded a Printz honor!
ME: . . . of course you are.
THEM: . . .
ME: I'm going to pass out now.
At that point the phone connection failed. I debated for a moment if it was unprofessional to call THE PRINTZ COMMITTEE back as they probably had extremely important things to do and had, after all, conveyed their message to me. However, I was struck by the knowledge that if I didn't call them back, they might believe that I had fallen down and struck my head on my piano and then decide to give my Honor to a more physically able candidate.

ME: *dials* Hi. I didn't pass out.
THEM: We thought we'd lost you!

I can't remember what happened then. I think I said "thank you" approximately 17 times, and then they told me I couldn't tell anyone anything until Monday, and then they left me in the silence of my unplayed piano room to stare at my phone.

And as if that wasn't enough, I had to pick up another call from an unrecognized number yesterday, which turned out to be the producer of my audio books, letting me know that The Scorpio Races had won an Odyssey Honor, which is the ALA award for excellence in audio books. You see? I TOLD YOU I loved my narrators.

I still haven't really processed it, though I watched the ALA webcast of the awards and my legs got all noodly when they said my name and saw the medal on my book. I mean, my book. With a medal. So many of the books I grew up loving bore one of these three medals — Printz, Caldecott, Newbery — and now I have one too.

Saying it that way makes me a little breathless, so maybe I am starting to internalize it. Maybe.

I should tell you, too, that by way of celebration, I went immediately to Fountain Bookstore's website and ordered all of the Alex Award winners that I didn't already own.

What a fine, fine day.


Maggie Stiefvater
Hi, I'm Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night. I live an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dogs. I’m the author of the Books of Faerie (LAMENT and BALLAD); the bestselling SHIVER trilogy (SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER), and THE SCORPIO RACES.

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