Thursday, November 7, 2013
She wrote a letter for that book that was perfection.
She stayed true to this quiet, little book as it found its right home in review after review.
We have remained dear friends through every transition.
We spent hours together in Decatur, GA—talking life, talking dreams—and it is because of Jess that I one day received a handwritten note from Tomie dePaola.
She is a radiating beauty—intelligent and kind, wise beyond her years, as equally devoted to a small author like myself as she is to the big names she illuminates (Tomie, for one, but also, at this very moment, Laurie Halse Anderson)—and here she is, moments after running the New York City marathon, standing with her mom, Joanne Shoffel.
Jess, I asked her just now, do you mind if I put your photo on my blog? She said I could. I cried a little, because it's about time that I get to share this beautiful young lady with you.
Jess says, and I quote:
"... it was a great moment because I ran with the American Cancer Society DetermiNation team in memory of my dad, Stan Shoffel, and my best friend’s dad, Tom Leo. My dad passed when I was a teenager. Mr. Leo was like a father to me when I went away to college and was far from family. He passed away in the spring."