Two years ago it occurred to me that anyone who wants to can give an award for something they like, so I instituted the Cadaver.
I am a knitter of doo-dads. I long ago gave up knitting sweaters, or anything useful, in favor of short projects that are cute, animals, flowers, small decorative things. For many years I have knitted a Crimebake lobster called Hardboiled.
The Cadaver is a knitted naked body with a Y incisions stitched up with red and black thread. I was knitting a fairy and had set the naked body on the table waiting for wings. Glancing down at it trying to figure out how to do the wings, I realized it was more dead body than mythical creature.
What does one do with something like that? If I displayed all the silly things I knit I would need dozens more shelves. Better to give them away. To whom? What for? When I finished it I knew the little guy on my table had to go live (or be dead) at the authors house. It would have to be someone who's work I loved, and someone I knew would be honored and not grossed out, or puzzled by my weird sense of humor. Why not turn him into a mini award? I made him a drape so the recipient doesn't have to leave his gruesome self on display at all times.
About that time I read Death in the Time of Ice, by Kaye George, a mystery novel set in a community of Neanderthals, I had read a short story that was the practice piece for the novel, and couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. I knew Kaye had to be the first to be awarded a Cadaver.
The next question was how to deliver it so it was more than just an odd piece of kitting that arrived in the mail.
I wanted to present him in person and in a public setting. I very much didn't want his presentation to take anything away from the Agathas or appear to mock them in any way. So Kaye was awarded her Cadaver over lunch with the Guppies (a Sisters in Crime on line chapter).
This year the now coveted Cadaver went to Edith Maxwell for her as yet unpublished historical about a Quaker midwife in the late 1800s. I was honored to read the manuscript before it went to the editor.
I knew both Kaye and Edith would receive the Cadaver in the spirit in which it was given, from a true appreciation of their work but with a humorous and slightly irreverent twist.
While I bask in the glow of buzz over my knitting skill, the important thing here is that I get to show my appreciation of writers who are important to me.
The little guy is a tangible expression of my joy without costing lots of money and only a bit of time. It is also a way of using up the dreadful pink yarn that should last for another 10 cadavers.
I will cast on next week while I contemplate who gets next years' award.
I hope that you who are reading this find a way to let your favorite authors know how much they are loved.