Thursday, November 3, 2011

Emily Jenkins/E. Lockhart

Sunrise was at 7:56, sunset was at 5:49.

The clouds look like illustrations out of a children's Bible. They are fluffy, rounded, lit from behind and glowing along the edges. The sun is setting behind Beacon Hill and still shining through the dining room windows. There will come a time, not too long, now, when the sun won't come through to the inside of the house, except for the bedroom; it will be too far south and too low to to come above the trees and the house behind us. Only when it starts to slip behind Beacon Hill will there be enough open space to shine through. It reminds me of a lariat, sliding over the hips of the earth and pooling at the feet, Argentina and Chile kicking it loose to catch on the toes of Antarctica.

This was my breakfast the other day, just before the Emily Jenkins/E. Lockhart events. Aren't those eggs just absolutely exquisite? The yolks of the blue eggs were the exact color of a Crayola orange-yellow crayon and they clung to the edge of the bowl when I whisked them. I kept thinking of all the insects and leftover veggies my fellow employee Chris' hens were fed that would give those eggs that color. They must be very happy girls!

We took Emily to Madrona in Edmonds to speak to 2nd-4th grades about her Toys Go Out books, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky, and then took to her alma mater, Lakeside, to talk about how she got to where she is now and why she writes what she does.

Those little kids were so attentive and they had really great questions for Emily. The school has an interpreter and the big boys, the fifth graders, are AV gods. They had Emily miked, the computers loaded, the projector aimed....and when Emily's handless microphone went kablooey, they had it turned off, the handheld set up and handed to her in seconds. They were the heroes of the day.

The teenagers at Lakeside weren't as well prepared as the younger ones.

It was an interesting discussion, though, so cool to hear E. talk about where her ideas come from and about her life as an author in New York. I loved hearing how she used her experiences as a social pariah at her first high school and her move up the social ladder at her second (Lakeside) to inspire her Ruby Oliver novels. She talked about her friends getting together for a beer every so often, many of them people whose books we love, like David Levithan and Scott Westerfeld.

Here she is in a room off the library at Lakeside, filling the group in about her days as an author. It had been a very long day by this time and only getting longer. Up at 3:45 am, or so, to catch a plane to Seattle for her first event at 10:45, lunch at 12:00, event from 1-3, then off to sign books at various bookstores before an evening event with Secret Garden's teen book club run by our friend, Liz Gallagher. Our Random House rep, Deanna, joined her for lunch at Lakeside (Random publishes the Ruby Oliver books). It was a very busy day, not nearly as glamorous as her real life, and she really should have stock in Starbucks.

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