Why do we go to NCTE?

Monday, November 24, 2014

For the friends we have made, and keep on making.

For the quick lobby Lisa embrace. For the spontaneous crisp-night-air talk with Paul. Because Mark stops when you call his name. Because Michael is there. Because Ilene finds you, and Mary does. Because Susan is there, right there, in the atrium. Because a Freckled Librarian brings her megaphone. Because a friend from long ago surprises you. Because Joan has another Ted Hipple Special Collection book for you to sign. Because Jennifer and Susannah are in the house. Because your son's sixth-grade English teacher is there. Because Edie tells you stories and because Melanie really does have that color hair and because you have found Liz weeks after the panel she moderated and you can tell her (again) how intelligent she was. Because Michaela and K.E. are so talented, and because you have much to learn from Christine and Shanetia (and because you will come to covet Christine's coat and Shanetia's easy dancing heart). Because your sister is there.

Because Chronicle Books is that kind of company, the kind of company you deeply want to keep.

And because Debbie Levy is in the mix—Debbie with her wide intelligence and big heart, who drives you, when it is all said and done, to the shadows of the Capitol and to a reservation she has made in a restaurant called (appropriately) Art & Soul. Debbie, who has given you two of her most recent books—the award-winning We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and utterly smart as it offers the biography of a rich and prevailing song; and Dozer's Run, illustrated by David Opie, the adorable true story of a dog that ran a marathon, and then ran home. Debbie, who has given you, as well, "Dark Lights," the original jazz recordings of Alex Hoffman, her very talented son.

We go to NCTE for the people we find there.


Serena said...

Sounds like you were busy...having fun. That's the best kind. I love that you saw "The Awakening"!

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

When were you in OC? Next time let me know!

Lara Starr said...

Beautiful! So glad and honored you were there!

twentybyjenny said...

How did you get to be such a talented photographer, too, Beth? I almost missed that wonderful carved face in the foreground for my focus on the Ferris wheel in the background. Stunning. So glad we were all in the house.

Debbie Levy said...

There's so much heart in everything you write, Beth. It was great to spend time with you. Looking forward to more, more!

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