I’m simply all a dither!

I just saw Kate DiCamillo, walking along my very own path by the creek!  There she was!  With a scruffy dog that looked just like Winn Dixie!  Wow.  She’s a hero of mine.  I once read that she started writing by promising herself she would write one hour every day, no matter what.  I think of her often.  She’s a perfect example of what a little hardheaded perseverance (and a whole hell of a lot of talent) can yield – beautiful magical books that manage to bewitch children and adults alike, fancifully woven tales chocked full with lessons about perseverance, loyalty, and friendship.  She’s great. 

despereauxAnd I can’t believe I saw her today of all days!!!  I just started The Tale of Despereaux last night with Supergirl.  Of all the gosh darn coincidences!  On Sunday we saw the preview for the movie, so I made a deal with Supergirl that we would go to see the movie after I read the book to her.  Saint James and I have done that so many times, but Supergirl has yet to experience the delicious sense of anticipation, the time and rigor involved in reading and savoring a whole big complicated book and the LESSON, that all important no-other-way-to-learn-it lesson:  THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE.  (Not that I’m in any way dogging movies – I love movies!  In fact, if it had been Joel and Ethan Coen on the path today, an industrial-sized spatula would have been required to scrape up my swooning carcass.  I’m simply saying, if there is a source and a derivative, go to the source.)  After reading the first Harry Potter book and watching the movie, Saint James quietly observed that there is a lot more stuff in the book.  Indeed there is, young Jedi, indeed there is.  

So back to Kate DiCamillo, who is one of the people I mildly stalk out of sheer admiration (the other is Dara Moscowitz who used to write wildly colorful and entertaining restaurant reviews for the City Pages and has moved on to other things but who should come back because her successor is boring and bland and safe and makes me never want to eat out again.)  Kate was walking along in a brown t-shirt and jeans.  Imagine that!  Blue jeans!  On this hot steamy day.  Surely she was just clearing her head, having left her laptop open, the fan blowing on her empty chair.  Maybe she’s having trouble with a turn of phrase, an ending, a character’s motivation.  Oh, sooooo coooool!  I’m such a loser writer wannabe.

And what a perfect level of celebrity/anonymity!  Authors are virtually unrecognizable except to people who have read their stuff.  It’s a totally self selecting audience:  if you’re a successful self-help guru, the needy and suggestible will flock to you; if you’re Danielle Steele, slightly tacky,  overweight lonely hearts with fresh manicures and garish clothes will be your fan base; if you’re Martin Amis, borderline alcoholics with a penchant for dark, smart (sometimes sick, but always brilliant) humor will be the only ones to glance twice when you get your morning coffee.  Do you think Brad Pitt could have survived a fatwa?  

If you are recognized at all, it is for something that has come from your brain and your heart and your guts.  It is very pure, yet contained.  (O.K., I’ll admit it, I’ve daydreamed of book tours and signings, the gorgeous outfits I’d pull together to sit on a stool and read from my novel . . .  I would always bring a glass made of glass for ice water – no plastic bottles for me, please . . . she’s really cool and down to earth, except for her water bottle issue – she gets quite peevish about plastic, apparently . . . )   

I might have been imagining it, but Kate seemed to have a wary look on her face when she passed by me.  It could have been my crazy fierce arm pumping fast walking, my enormous smudged sunglasses, or the goofy look on my face.  Or maybe she’s used to women my age gushing all over her, trying to get her autograph for their children, thanking her for her lovely books full of whimsy and heart.  

I didn’t interrupt her walk.  I would never.  That’s what I love about fans like me . . . (But just for the record, if I ever become a famous author, please, please feel free to stop me and tell me how much you love me.)

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2 Responses to “I’m simply all a dither!”

  • Marguerite Westfall Says:

    Me Again,
    My husband is sound asleep…..I usually read a chapter or two before bed….unless, he is sound asleep. It is weird, I can’t read anywhere else, except my bed. So tonight, I read your blog instead…..not all of it…..but a lot of it. It was nice Gaby….I think you should consider taking a break from blogging and start writing a book.
    Good Night,
    P.S. Just started Girl With The Dragon Tattoo….not sure if I like it yet> looks like you read it> what did you think?

  • Joel Says:

    oppose@instruction.pointers” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!…

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