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Last year, I wrote an essay about my mother and her love of Morocco. This week, it won a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in the Personal Comment category. It’s my fifth essay that has been honored by the SATW, and it gets more exciting every time. Here’s what the judges said: 1-SATWFoundation_2012_jpg

Silver: Marcia DeSanctis, “Time or the Sahara Wind,” Tales To Go
A photo album brings back memories not only of trips taken but also, as importantly, of the photographer herself — the writer’s mother, who now is lost in the mists of Alzheimer’s. This personal and poignant story reminds readers of the fragility of life.

Again, the photo in the story.

Again, the photo in the story.

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Brian Rea

Brian Rea

It’s astonishing to 1) hear one of my essays read out loud, 2) hear it several years after I conceived and wrote it and 3) have it read – achingly and masterfully – by Oscar and Emmy nominated actress Angela Bassett. This great honor, on the Modern Love Podcast.

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Unknown

I never thought I’d contribute to the vast canon of writers-on-writing essays, but here is one for second-career writers. Like me. What I meant to say, and hope it somehow came across is that, every one of us took a different path to get here, and all are singular and legitimate. No matter what our method, and what our level of success, we all spend our day the same way: in imperfect solitude, battling doubt, swatting away the distractions that gallop across our consciousness. A lot of the time, it is anything but pleasant. Always, it is my choice to be doing this.

I am writing because I want to. My work originates in the shadowy recesses of the mind and even in the most parched or fallow times, it is still the land of plenty. There is success, failure and everything in between. But mostly there is the labor, the constant lassoing of thoughts into sentences. It would be difficult if it weren’t actually so simple. Or maybe, it’s the other way around.

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