The Southern Kentucky Book (SOKY) Festival rocked for so many reasons: I got to hang with Kristin Tubb, met Cynthea Liu in person, and made new connections with the awesome Philana Marie Boles and Jen Bradbury. But I will always remember it as the festival where fellow author Tracy Barrett brought me a special surprise.
Tracy and I had never met face-to-face, though she was one of the first people I contacted when I joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and sought out help for submitting my first book, Alexander the Great Rocks the World.
She jumped in with several suggestions. Over the years, Tracy–the author of 17 books for kids– continued helping in other ways. I was SO excited to thank her in person. Here’s how it went:
Me: Yay, we finally meet!
Tracy: Oh, I have something for you. I read your post about how you forgot your Cleo Action Figure
at home, and I was at the Getty museum so I picked this up for you.
Me: ???????????? *Chin drops to floor* *All words leave brain*
Let me point out just how inadequate the words “Thank You!” are in times like these. ‘Cuz even though I lamely uttered them, they in no way captured how touched I was by her thoughtfulness and generosity. I mean, come on! Who DOES that?
Back home, though, drag-queen Cleo was not amused. After all, Cleo (with cat!) wore pretty blue eye-shadow. Only on her, it looked feminine. On drag-queen Cleo, the blue very nearly brought out the five o’clock shadow on “her” GI-Joe square jaw. Big Cleo was NOT happy.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I came across this scene:
“No! You may not hurt Cleo (with cat!),” I told her. “Use your words to express how you feel.”
Drag-queen Cleo rolled her eyes, got in mini-Cleo’s face and growled, “I will CUT you and leave you for the fishes in the Nile if you ever take my spotlight again. I will use my big man-hands to throttle–”
“Stop!” I interrupted. “Never mind.”
It was easier to separate them.
Despite drag-queen-Cleo’s less than gracious welcome to mini-Cleo (with cat!), I for one am thrilled at the addition. And very grateful for the incredible kindness of fellow children’s authors.