SEATTLE I open the email. Read it. Rinse and repeat, hands shaking.
Call Edward. Start stammering.
"What is it?" my pseudo-sib frets. "Did you talk to that no-good"
"I WON THE FRIGGIN' LOWELL THOMAS," I explode.
"Big Fat?" he asks. All our major stories have pet names.
The award is travel writing's ersatz Pulitzer: a big splash in a small pond. But kinda, you know, thrilling nonetheless.
Edward who collected his gong in 2003 scrabbles at his keyboard, pulls up the announcement. "Bronze, adventure writing, Amanda Castleman ... and Tim Cahill took the gold," he laughs. "If you have to lose out..."
"Yeah," I agree. "Grasshopper can bow to the master."
(Cahill, a founding editor of "Outside," popularized the wry-but-emotional action genre. His winner, "State of Adrenaline" ran in "National Geographic Adventure", while Kerri Westenberg took the silver with "Appalachian Trail Magic in the "Minneapolis Star Tribune". My "Road and Travel" story "Calm as the Hurricane's Eye" detailed my Open Water scuba certification in Honduras.)