Award, books, writing

A Gift

It’s a very small story for an organization with a very big purpose.

And I’m more proud of it than all my other publications combined. The stories, the poems, the novel, the magazines, the anthologies are dear to my heart, but The Market at Night for is imbued with a purpose that rests at the very center of my heart.’s mission is to bring books and reading to those who, for one reason or another, have been denied access to the magical, transformative world that nestles within the printed page.

For me, reading at an early age wasn’t merely enjoyment.

It was survival.

Today, as an adult, I know I have Asperger’s syndrome. But growing up, all I knew was that making friends was a skill that eluded me. When the rare, treasured connection of companionship did come along, it wouldn’t last as long as I’d wish. Friends would fall away with distance or time or their frustration at the odd disconnect that characterized relationships with me.

The hell of Asperger’s is that you can know you have it, but you still can’t recognize it. The brain is just hard-wired differently and, to usurp a phrase that is over-used, you are what you are.

Reading was my survival skill. Escape into different worlds, lives, situations. Books would never think I was strange or different. Books opened areas of the brain that might otherwise have remained closed.

That’s the gift endeavors to bring to those who have yet to be enchanted by reading. The present waits for them to unwrap it. tries to make it so enticing that they can’t pass by without taking a look.

The Market at Night is the winner of the 2021 Story of the Year, 50 States Award.

It makes me proud, but more than that, it makes me hopeful.

Reading is too enormous a gift to be left on the sidelines.

I am grateful to be allowed to help invite non-readers into the ranks of the enchanted.


2 thoughts on “A Gift

  1. Susan Lowe says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! What a magical tale! As I said in my review, the sense of magic surrounded me as a read just as surely as the rainbows surrounded Angela!

    There were wee touches in this that made me think of a CM fan fiction piece you wrote years ago in which the team was in…San Francisco, possibly?…and find themselves in a shop that has lots of magical properties; I wish I could remember more of the details, but I do recall enjoying it!

    Hope you’re doing OK. I’m heading off to a lunch with a couple of my cousins (and the wife of one of them) tomorrow. We’re meeting in Sandusky, about an hour west and slightly north of me as that’s kind of central for all of us. I see Mark, the cousin who lives about 45 minutes southeast of me, periodically (he’s the one with whom I do the annual Cemetery Runs to put holiday wreathes on the graves of our relatives), but haven’t seen Russ and his wife for at least a couple of years, so this will be nice.

    Thanks again for sharing the story…and congratulations on the award!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hey!! Thanks for the kind words, my friend (more like soul-sister). The reunion with some of your family tomorrow sounds like a refreshing break from the last couple years of COVID-induced seclusion. Enjoy!!!! And thanks again!

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