Close to greatness…

Deborah Wiles was in town this past week. I went to hear her at one of the local elementary schools and O.M.G., look at this! We made her blog! If I had known I was going to get my picture taken with her…and I had known that picture was going to go ON HER BLOG, I maybe wouldn’t have dressed like I was heading out on a 20-mile bike ride as soon as she finished speaking. Even though that was exactly what I did. At least I was wearing the “Be Well Read” shirt (which was the official Iowa City author visit shirt from 2002, when Jane Kurtz was here), though my hair’s in the way, so you can’t tell that’s what I’m wearing. Even if I wasn’t well dressed, at least my shirt showed that I care about books!

She was a fabulous speaker, not to mention singer! Yes, she actually sang to us…that’s how she began her presentation! You won’t catch me singing during a school visit. Ever! (She even wrote “Sing!” in one of the books I signed for me…which she NEVER would’ve done if she actually knew me.) But she did inspire me to consider incorporating my mandolin into my school visit presentations (I’m getting much better, so that could be a viable option for next spring…). There are a lot of similarities between my writing and my mandolin playing. Plus I don’t go anywhere without my mandolin. If I was going away overnight, I would bring it with me to play in my hotel room because I can’t be away from it that long. That’s how obsessed I am. I’ll think about it…

Anyway…I’m so glad I got to hear her presentation. I loved her “yoga of writing” (which she made up…she says she starts her writing sessions by putting her hands in the “yoga of writing”)… and her emphasis on the writer’s notebook…and her stories…and her personality. She had a nice presence up there in front of everyone…very personable (I hope I’m as personable when I speak!). The kids were mesmerized! (So were the grown-ups.)


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