Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On the Kindness of Children's Book Authors

The Southern Kentucky Book (SOKY) Festival rocked for so many reasons: I got to hang with Kristin Tubb, met Cynthea Liu in person, and made new connections with the awesome Philana Marie Boles and Jen Bradbury. But I will always remember it as the festival where fellow author Tracy Barrett brought me a special surprise.

Tracy and I had never met face-to-face, though she was one of the first people I contacted when I joined the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and sought out help for submitting my first book, Alexander the Great Rocks the World.

She jumped in with several suggestions. Over the years, Tracy--the author of 17 books for kids-- continued helping in other ways. I was SO excited to thank her in person. Here's how it went:


Me:      Yay, we finally meet!

Tracy:  Oh, I have something for you. I read your post about how you forgot your Cleo Action Figure
            at home, and I was at the Getty museum so I picked this up for you. 

Me:      ???????????? *Chin drops to floor* *All words leave brain*

Tracy:   Smiles.

Let me point out just how inadequate the words "Thank You!" are in times like these. 'Cuz even though I lamely uttered them, they in no way captured how touched I was by her thoughtfulness and generosity. I mean, come on!  Who DOES that?

Back home, though, drag-queen Cleo was not amused.  After all, Cleo (with cat!) wore pretty blue eye-shadow. Only on her, it looked feminine. On drag-queen Cleo, the blue very nearly brought out the five o'clock shadow on "her" GI-Joe square jaw. Big Cleo was NOT happy.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I came across this scene:
"No! You may not hurt Cleo (with cat!)," I told her. "Use your words to express how you feel."

Drag-queen Cleo rolled her eyes, got in mini-Cleo's face and growled, "I will CUT you and leave you for the fishes in the Nile if you ever take my spotlight again. I will use my big man-hands to throttle--"

"Stop!" I interrupted. "Never mind."

It was easier to separate them.

Despite drag-queen-Cleo's less than gracious welcome to mini-Cleo (with cat!), I for one am thrilled at the addition. And very grateful for the incredible kindness of fellow children's authors.


12 comments:

Tracy Barrett said...

Aw shucks, 'tweren't nothing! And drag Cleo had better watch out; that little cat looks MEAN.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

So incredibly cool of you Tracy! And Man-Cleo - you'd best behave thyself! :) e

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

@Tracy. Totally, Tracy! I can't stare into the cat's face for fear it will suck out my soul!

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

@e "Man-Cleo"--ha! Love it.

Kristin Tubb said...

The battle of the Cleos - I love it. Though my money is on Man-Cleo... ;-)

Great seeing you, too, Vicky! :-)

Cynthea Liu said...

Hilarious! Great meeting you, too, Vicky!

Genetta said...

Too fun! I'm glad Tracy saved the day for you, Vicky. And I bet Cat-Cleo will defeat Drag-Cleo eventually, although there may be other battles you’ll need to share with us in the meantime. I hope so! ha

Genetta said...

Too fun! I'm glad Tracy saved the day for you, Vicky. And I bet Cat-Cleo will defeat Drag-Cleo eventually, although there may be other battles you’ll need to share with us in the meantime. I hope so! ha

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

@Kristin--me too. Man hands, drag-queen Cleo is definitely the one to be on!

@Thanks, Cynthea!

@Genetta, good to see you here! I have a feeling mini-Cleo (with cat!) is tough, but I think drag-queen Cleo may have an edge on cattiness. ;-)

Karen Strong said...

Ooooh, you got to hang out with some lovely writers!

Ha, ha on Man-Cleo. I agree with Kristin. I'll put my money on him too. LOL.

Ashes said...

I love this! GIRL FIGHT TONIGHT!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVie2K-mMtc

Robyn Hood Black said...

Vicky - what a wonderful gesture to share, and leave it to you to come up with comedy routine about it. I wanna go buy you loads of action figures just to see what you dream up next...