I recently learned that Cloud Messenger is listed as a finalist for an Indie Book Award, in the Memoir category. Thousands of writers apply for these awards, so I was thrilled to find out that Cloud Messenger had been recognized in this way. Cloud Messenger has also won a Canada Book Award. I took a diploma course in creative writing through Humber College a couple of years ago, and it was during those months that I did some substantial work on the manuscript. My writing mentor was MG Vassanji, and he recommended my manuscript for a Letter Of Distinction. Public recognition of my writing is exciting - but still, what means the most to me is when someone says to me - "I really liked Cloud Messenger because it reminded me of something that happened in my own life. It got me thinking." To me, that is exciting! It is such an interesting way of connecting to others - through writing.
Earlier today I went to hear Dr Abraham Verghese speak at McMaster University. Today is Graduation Day for the current class of medical students, and he was scheduled to give the convocation speech. But in the morning he spoke at an informal gathering of faculty and students who are interested in his work and his ideas. Speaking about his works of fiction, he said that he is always fascinated when people tell him their own interpretations of his work. Sometimes they've made connections that he had never even thought of! That's a wonderful thing about writing - the reader enters into an imaginative journey with the author. Even though we may never meet our readers, a connection is formed.