Attending the 13th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards last evening, I was struck by how each other talked about how libraries had influence them.
Whether it was opening new worlds of exploration or setting the stage for future writing careers, libraries were the cornerstone of everyone’s story.
Attending the awards feels good. I love books. I always have and hope I always will. So to be able to meet the authors whose works have swept me away is always a thrill. Last night I met Barbara Kingsolver. A great friend turned me onto her works many years ago. Her early works had a profound impact on my outlook.
“The Bean Trees,” which is described as “a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places,” was an early favorite. More recently, I was riveted by “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” and this summer I embarked on my own journey to eat off the land. So I started my own garden.
Kingsolver was honored last night for her newest book, “Lacuna.” And I was delighted to spend a few minutes chatting with her about my garden and its success. And I was overjoyed when she signed my book.
I also attend for inspiration. Adriana Trigiani hosted the evening. She continues to remind me to “just write.” She continues to encourage all of us writers to finish our projects. I attended with a friend who did finish her project. Julie Campbell’s “The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History,” is now on book shelves.
As a child, libraries opened the doors to whole new worlds. As an adult, I continue to find inspiration and friendship in my library.
Thank you Library of Virginia for an incredible evening.