I am posting this late on Thursday because I have to wake up in a few hours to catch a flight to Miami.
Not that I think I’m going to sleep much. It was a wonderful, wonderful day.
The day started with a drive south to Oxford, MS, the literary capital of the region. If we get 10 feet of snow in 12 days again next winter, I will be taking a little vacation in Oxford. I adore this town.
The morning started with a speech to 250 9th graders who were very pleased not to be in their classrooms. They had all read SPEAK, so I focused on the writing and reaction to that book, and explained how boys’ reactions to SPEAK got me thinking a lot about boys and the challenges they face, which eventually led to the writing of TWISTED. The reason all of those kids got to read SPEAK was that the Junior Auxiliary and the county Literacy Council raised the money to buy each of the kids a copy of the book. That is an amazing model of community service and literacy action.
After the speech came lunch. Lunch at William Faulkner’s house. I will be trotting out that phrase “lunch at William Faulkner’s house” for months.
The other highlight of Oxford day was that I got to spend most of it with friend Karen Hesse. She had a group of 2nd graders give her a quilt that they had sewn and decorated all by themselves. I couldn’t tell who was happier – the kids or Karen. We signed and signed and signed until the stacks of books were gone and the happy readers all on their way home. Many, many thank to Lauren, Jill, Colin, James and everyone else whose name I forgot for making the signing an astounding success.
I have much to do before hitting the pillow so I will leave you with a few words from The Master: