Saturday night I went to Books, Inc at the invitation of the wonderfully enthusiastic
(who recommended an awesome place for Cuban pressed sandwiches – yum yum.) I also got to meet and and we all had the pleasure of listening to one of my idols in the business, Chris Crutcher. Sigh. I love it that it seems children’s writers, no matter how famous they get, are all so wonderfully open and approachable. (He let me take a picture with him – here’s hoping that some of his magic will rub off on me.) Chris is one of today’s most censored children’s writers. He shared some of his stories of why it was important for writers to be true to the story that they were telling. You never know where in your audience is the girl or boy (or librarian or teacher) whose story you are, without even knowing it, telling. You are the voice for those that cannot yet speak up. What was most interesting to me was that as he was talking about this I felt a physical reaction in my gut and my eyes watered for a minute and all I could think about was Frankie and how hard it is to tell his story. But I sat right there in the audience with one part of my mind on Chris’s voice and the other part reassuring Frankie that I would help him tell his story.

Even more interesting was my husband’s reaction. (It was thanks to him driving me into the city that I even got to hear Chris because I don’t drive in San Francisco.) When we got in the car to go home and were discussing some things that had been said, my husband said, “You know that part when . . .” And it was the very part where I had had the intense reaction. He went on to say,”When Chris was talking about that, all I could think of was you and Frankie and how you have to do that for him.” Whoa! My husband isn’t a writer and isn’t one prone to the touchy-feely stuff that drives much of my life. He listens to me talk about my books (and is very proud of me) but he reads fantasy and science fiction and prefers logical you can see to the emotions that you can only feel. So I was really surprised to hear such a thing from him.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on the office (yes, still). The new bookcases are up and all the YA books have been moved there and alphabetized. The remaining 12 shelves of MG books had to be completely reorganized too. The curtains I bought are too long so I need to take them in to be altered. (There was a time, when I was MUCH younger, I would have done it myself but not anymore.) The room is shaping up nicely though.

Writing update: I know how Frankie got his nickname and I’m pretty sure I know what happened to his sister. I don’t know the whys behind many of the things in this story but I am just going forward with the idea that they will, eventually, reveal themselves to me.