Thanks to all the family and friends who helped make the book launch party a success. My sister-in-law, Nancy, is queen of the kitchen on these events. My husband’s band, Re/Issued, makes it a party. These great guys learned Needtobreathe’s song, “Something Beautiful” for me, even though it was outside of their comfort zone. Thanks to all for making the night something beautiful for me….
A week from tomorrow (3-22), Serendipity & Me will be festively launched at my church (Hively Avenue Mennonite Church, 800 E. Hively, Elkhart, Indiana–7:30-10:00 p.m.).
The best of the festivities come in the form of a cover band called Re/Issued. These guys always do my book parties, and I am extremely grateful to them for that. It helps to have a husband in a band when you’re throwing book launches!
They are quite a collection of loveable guys with talent and wit. In the picture below, they pause briefly from practicing last night for the event. From left to right: Byron Warkentin, Paul Boers, Bob Birkey, Marc Roth. Come for the books, stay for the music. (Or just come and stay for the music!)
When I was asked to move Serendipity & Me from a picture book manuscript to a novel-in-verse, the story had to expand. Obviously. “I think you have more to say about this little girl and her father,” the editor said. I just had to figure out what it was.
It shouldn’t have been too surprising that I learned the father was a professor at a small college–one just like the college I went to. Because a cat was deep at the heart of my college experience.
He was found outside my dorm by a suite mate. “What are you going to do with him?” I asked when she pulled the kitten out of her jacket in my dorm room. She didn’t know. She willingly gave him over to me. He was Not Allowed, so my roommate and I hid him in our room.
We thought we were doing well, but after about three weeks, the RA came to us. “I can’t keep pretending I don’t see him when he keeps showing up in my room,” she said. The little stinker would crawl under our door and head straight to hers.
Fortunately, my fiance’s RA was happy to pretend he didn’t see Stinky. So Stinky spent the next several months in Marc’s dorm room until we got married at the end of the semester.
Stinky spent a lot of time in Marc’s dorm window, obvious to all passersby that Unallowable Activity was happening in that room. But no one said anything. When I wrote about Sara’s father pretending not to notice the kittens in the dorm window, it was how I imagined the authorities at my college reacted to Stinky in Marc’s window.