These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

carmen deedy

i had an interesting assignment tuesday. the library hosted this picture book author, carmen agra deedy, who gave a presentation on her book "the yellow star."

to be honest, i had never heard of deedy, despite her appearing on NPR and having won some awards. i expected a bland talk about some book or her life or something.

i was pleasantly surprised. what i found was a talkative woman who is a natural storyteller. we spoke prior to the presentation and found her an engaging conversationalist. the presentation proceeded with her detailing how she wrote "the yellow star." it was a fascinating process filled with ups an downs. she had the auditorium in stitches.

i liked that she brought in her cuban culture into the presentation. it provided both humor and perspective on her life and her life while writing the picture book.

afterwards i made my way up to her and said my goodbye. she told me to get a book, compliments of herself, and she'd autograph it. of course the evening couldn't go smoothly without me acting like a bafoon. she said to go by the bookstore and pick out a book and to tell them she (deedy) would cover it. i had to say, 'any bookstore i town?' she meant the small room near thea library auditorium where they were selling her books. jeez, what a dork i am.

anyway, she ended up signing the book for me.

but what she did went a long way. in her presentation she said she tok years to write a 32-page picture book. i think i'm going to have to be more patient with myself and my writing, instead of rushing headlong into something and then being disappointed when i'm struggling.

it's something dawn's already told me anyway.


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