Just a little over a week ago, I took a trip down to Washington, D.C. to be recognized for my book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens. I won one of the AAAS/Subaru SB & F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. I am a bit embarrassed to admit, but I had no idea how prestigious this award was. I am so honored to be recognized next to such accomplished authors. While at the meeting, I was able to meet amazing scientists from diverse specialties who we, as a society, can thank for the scientific advances they have pioneered. The conference was a global event where countries from around the world were represented, some even presenting results of their latest research. I was thrilled to be a part of it all!
I spent two days exploring the conference and enjoyed signing books at the Subaru booth. There I was able to connect with fellow chicken keepers, fans, curious people intrigued by chickens, and folks who just wanted to come and say congratulations! On Saturday evening, there was a beautiful reception and very fancy dinner where I was presented with a beautiful glass inscribed award. I was able to formally thank everyone for the honor. I know many of you wanted to know what I said. I was a bit overwhelmed with emotions, but luckily I got through it. I didn’t feel too bad as some other folks needed tissues too.
This was my speech. I didn’t even know where to begin and I didn’t want to miss any one. Even you all! I am so grateful to the friends and fans of Tilly’s Nest.
Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for having me here tonight to accept this award. Thank you to AAAS and Subaru for considering me for such an honor. I cannot even believe that I am standing here tonight as there were so many wonderful nominees this year. I would also like to thank my family, my team at Storey Publishing and all those that encouraged me and believed in me along the way.
I never would have imagined when I started blogging about my family’s chicken adventures that it would culminate into a book. However, amazing things and the magic of chickens mesmerized my entire family. If someone had told me in my early twenties when I was living a city girl life in Los Angeles that I would keep a flock of chickens let alone write a book about it, I would have told them they were crazy!
As a nurse practitioner who spent years working in academics, I always thought of myself as a scientist, an investigator and someone who was never afraid to explore the unknown. Staying home and raising two small children opened my eyes to new adventures and I saw life in a new way, through their eyes. What life experiences, gifts of knowledge, and seeds of wisdom could I plant in their hearts? The day I said yes to chickens changed all of our lives forever in more positive ways than I can even begin to share with you this evening.
They say you one of the greatest things you can do is leave something to make the world a better place during your lifetime. I like to think that two of those greatest things will be my children. Another to me will be this book. I have seen it touch lives, open eyes, inspire kids to dream big and never be afraid to explore and follow their hearts. Tonight, my dream has come true in that I am able to reach so many of this evening and this weekend. I would like to dedicate this award to all those dreamers who were never afraid to travel the unknown paths in life, even when those paths might just include a small flock of backyard chickens.
Of course, I came home and had to immediately share the award with my family and my feathered flock. I’m not surprised that Oyster Cracker decided to photobomb the picture. That’s just who she is. She probably would have come as a lap chicken on the plane to D.C. if she could!