August 9, 2008

My mother is a bad ass.

...The probabilities would swirl in the corners of my eyes, and if I turned my head quickly, I could catch the future growing behind. Stasis or travel, symmetry of adventure. Why did I never glimpse myself standing there? I found no lines, no planes, nothing flat or straight, nothing simple, nothing set, only arcs of possibilities to enfold myself in...

Today, my mom and Frank came to visit. I'm starting a new project and they came up to help me brainstorm. Afterwards, we went to lunch, then wandered through an antique shop, an art shop and a used bookstore.
In the bookstore, we were looking in the Dead Guys and Award Winners section when my mom got excited and grabbed a book. "Kendrick! Kendrick! This is it! This is the year!" (I was confused. We weren't looking for anything in particular.)
She flipped through the table of contents of the 1990 The O'Henry Awards Prize Stories book and found her name.

My mom is a writer. Growing up, when I was at my dad's house on the weekends, she would lock herself in her study and type on her typewriter all weekend, pausing only to eat popcorn.
For more than 30 years she worked as a journalist. Most of those years at The State Newspaper in Columbia. Without knowing it at the time, I got my love for storytelling and people from her.

We laughed about setting up a table and having a one book book signing outside of the used bookstore. She bought me a copy of the book because I shamefully have never read the story. (It's embarrassing really, students in college lit classes have read it and I haven't.)

Anyways, this was a bright spot in my day and I thought I'd share.
(For those of you who don't know, the O. Henry award is given to the 20 best stories of the year. Stephen King, John Updike, Alice Walker, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O'Connor are just some of the people who have been honored with this award through the years. Thus, my mama is a badass.)

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