True story from today.
Okay, so I’ve never had an author visit my school, either as a librarian or as a teacher. Now two years ago, we had Mrs. Marion Blumenthal Lazan, a renowned Holocaust survivor, visit the school and speak to our parents and our students, but even though she did publish her memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles, with the assistance of author Lila Perl, Mrs. Lazan does not consider herself an author. She is a repository of memory and, incidentally, one of the most precious ladies I have ever met, but I digress, as usual.
As I said, never had a bona fide author come to a school where I taught or librarianed. I figured I would attempt to change that this year and so I cast about for who to invite, or rather try to invite. Well, my wife is a huge Twilight fan, my principal is a Twilight mom, and well over half the girls in my school are little rabid Twilight groupies. [Just to throw in a little factoid here, I am relatively certain I could stock less than twenty titles in my library and please over ninety percent of my clientele provided fifteen of the titles were the Bluford High Series from Townsend Press and the other four were the four Twilight novels.] Anyway, with being surrounded by all these Twilight people I figured, “ahh, what the hey, I’ll call and see if Stephanie Meyer will come speak to us.”
Now, I’m not insane or stupid. I do happen to know that she has a MAJOR movie premiere tomorrow night at midnight and personally, I’d love to go to the midnight showing at our local theater just to see who and what shows up. Midnight showings are what my right hand Chris calls “exquisite movie going experiences.” I mean, I attended the midnight showings of all three Lord of the Ring movies and I saw elves, orcs, and at least two Nazgul at each one, and let’s not even talk about the three Star Wars prequels Budge and I scoped out together. Grown men as Darth Vader and Stormtroopers, anyone?
Anyway, so Stephanie Meyer has the movie event of the fall if not the year on Friday, she’s authored the most wildly successful series since another certain seven book series I won’t mention, and she’s rolling with celebrities and possibly even royalty. But hey, Daddy always said, “Son, if you’re going to bother to dream, you might as well dream really big.” I didn’t have anything to lose by calling. So I looked up some contact info on her publisher and gave them a call. As soon as the nice lady on the other end of the phone recovered her composure at my audacious request, she graciously informed me that Ms. Meyer is on sabbatical from the speaking circuit for the foreseeable future. Well, I was bummed but not totally surprised. I hadn’t told anyone else of this flight of fantasy because I wanted it to be a surprise.
So, I was sitting at my desk scratching my head and generally feeling sorry for myself. Looking for a bit of sympathy I leaned back and spoke across the office aisle to our school tech coach and Chris about my failure. At the same time, one of my little Whamsters was cutting out some display pictures right in the path of our conversation. When she heard of my thwarted plan, she turned to me and, putting one hand on her hip, said with that utmost confidence that only a sixth grade can possess, “Well, duh, Mr. Wham, she has a mo-vie coming out Friday and she’s only like the richest writer in the country. She’s not going to come here! We could never afford to get her here!”
Well, I thought, “Out of the mouths of babes springs forth wisdom.” So I asked my ertwhile aide who she would suggest that I call up and try to get to come speak to us. Who did she think the students would appreciate seeing? Again with the hand on hip, again with the el supremeo confidence, this time with an added extra air of authority, she says,
“Well, if it was me, I’d call J.K. Rowling and have her come speak! She’d be great.”
If you go to see Twilight at the midnight showing, don’t forget your garlic and crucifixes (yes, I know her vampires aren’t bothered by those . . . I’m not totally obtuse), but most of all, don’t forget to wash your feet, y’all 🙂