You guys, I can’t believe it.
This year was my second year as a finalist in the Attitude Awards, which recognise achievement by people living with disabilities. They’re administered by the Attitude Trust, which produces an amazing TV programme as well as other content celebrating the lives of people with disabilities. Individual awards are sponsored by prominent kiwi businesses and non-profits.
Most of you probably know I have an eye condition called achromotopsia, which means I’m completely colour blind, severely short sighted, and am considered legally blind. I never really openly identify as a person with a disability, but this condition is part of me and it has shaped many of the experiences and decisions in my life.
It was such an honour to be nominated and made a finalist two years in a row. The Trust put on an amazing gala dinner where they treat us finalists like red carpet celebrities (my husband and I were put up in the Hilton for the night, overlooking the waterfront). It’s so amazing to go along and hear the stories of the other contestants.
These people are so cool. The stuff they do and the good they spread in the world is awesome, and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome make their achievements even more remarkable. It was such an honour to be among them.
We got all dolled up (yes, that’s my husband in a suit for the third time in our nine years of marriage) and went along to enjoy all the fantastic food and drink and amazing stories. The other lass in the picture is our friend Chrissy, who works for the organisation Manawanui in Charge, who sponsor the Artistic Achievement award.
Before I knew it, it got to my award and they called out my name!
I went up on stage and everyone clapped and I gave a little Oscar acceptance speech and tried not to fall over.
You can watch the awards here. My segment starts about 30mins in. They cut out a great bit of my speech where I thanked my “brothers and sisters of metal” but the reference is probably a bit out of place on national TV.
I’m still reeling from the whole experience. Writing is such a solitary practice. It’s easy to forget that on the other side of the computer is a big wide world where people are reading and reacting and talking about you. You have no idea how insanely happy it makes me to know that my books have a positive impact on the world in some small way.
Thank you – thank you to the Attitude Trust and all the sponsors for these incredible awards, to my family and friends for the support and inspiration, to all the readers and mentors and fans who cheer me on.
I do it for you.
Here’s a picture of my pretty award, with Socrates for scale:
When I’m not giving speeches or forgetting to update my blog, I write dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. Join my VIP Reader’s Group to stay up-to-date with all my series, and get FREE books.