1. My trip to Gadsden was filled with love and inspiration. To the teachers and students at Gaston High and Litchfield Middle: thank you for telling me your stories! It was a pleasure to meet all of you. And to the folks who attended my reading, YOU ARE THE BEST.
Special shout-out to Kathy Russell (pictures with me, left), who comes to all my Gadsden events and makes
me feel like my mama is in the room. So happy to know you!
And to Carol York, librarian-extraordinaire (in vest and tie, below): the opportunity to hang out with you is pure pleasure. And thanks to you, today I am again reading THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. I look forward to continuing the conversation.
What did we talk about? Find out at Carol's brilliant blog THE LEFT BANK... OF THE COOSA.
Y'all: she showed me her bridal bouquet. It's flowers made out of book pages! And her flower girls tossed leaves cut from old book pages! And she and new husband are taking a literary honeymoon that includes a visit to the Frost Place! (Tabitha said that's what happens when a librarian/poet marries an English teacher.) So happy for you two!
And I have to say one more thing about the students: They were SO VERY BRAVE. I asked some tough questions as part of the writing portion of my visit. For example, "what is the worst thing anyone has ever said about you?" TOUGH. But they were so forthcoming and honest, and I was honored and touched and excited to know them, even for just that one hour.
Students: you live inside me now. Thank you. If only my visit hadn't been cut short by the galloping tornadoes! Schools all over Alabama closed early on Friday, and for good reason. Unfortunately that meant NOT visiting the Drop Out Prevention group. I was so disappointed! But not to worry: Carol and I are conspiring to make that happen sometime before the end of the year.
Thank you, Gadsden, for making me proud to be an Alabamian! What a fantastic community. I hope we meet again real soon.
In other news: I posted ON WRITING AND LUCK, over at Smack Dab in the Middle. I've been spring cleaning - oh LORD, the dust! And soap scum. Feels good to tidy the place up.
AND. I got something special yesterday by way of craigslist. Will share pics tomorrow. :)
One more thing: Eric, thanks for making my blog sparkly and warm. You are the Best. Assistant. Ever.