Today’s Throwback Thursday post is going waaaay back. Like, back to the ’90s.
Tonight I had the pleasure of attending Final Thursday. It’s a reading series hosted at the Hearst Center for the Arts; there’s an open mic period followed by a featured reader, and it’s a whole lot of fun. I attended a couple of times in college (either because it was mandatory or there was extra credit), and I even managed to read something once (so I wouldn’t have to do a write-up on the event later). For someone who hates public speaking as much as I do, that was a big deal, particularly when it came to the essay I’d decided to read.
Anyway. Even if you’re not reading, Final Thursday is a ton of fun because there are so many amazing writers in the Cedar Valley.
The event happens on the final Thursday of each month (hence the name) during the academic year, except for December because of Christmas break. With Thanksgiving being the final Thursday this month, the event was held tonight instead. After being cooped up in the house with the kids all day, I decided an evening out was definitely in order, and boy am I glad I went.
One of the readers during the open mic period was Maribeth Boelts, a local children’s author. She read a poem about selling a house, which I related to sooo much. I hate selling houses, and this poem was just so amazing. She really is a fabulous writer.
She’s also the very first author I ever met. She came to my school once, way back when I was in elementary school, and gave a talk. She had signed bookmarks (I think) to hand out, and naturally, I had to have one. I mean, authors are famous people, right? They’re not from Iowa, and certainly not from my neck of the woods, so clearly, this was a must-have item.
I have no idea which book it was that she spoke to us about anymore, which really is a shame. But which book it was doesn’t really matter. When I got home that night, I cut out her autograph and taped it in my autograph book. She inspired me to write, and I’ve been writing away ever since.
Meanwhile, as I was getting a different book autographed tonight (The Coolest Month by Vince Gotera, which you should definitely check out if you’re into poetry), I ended up sitting next to her. Cue the gushing. I couldn’t stop myself from telling her how much I had enjoyed her poem, and then, of course, I had to tell her how she’d inspired me as a little girl to be a writer. She asked which school I’d gone to, so I told her, and then she said, “Wow, that was a long time ago!”
It was, but at the same time, it really doesn’t feel like it. Days go slow and years go fast.
Anyway, then she told me how much she’d enjoyed the poems I’d read, and I may or may not have fainted.
Okay, I didn’t faint, but I’ve been vibrating with happiness and excitement ever since. It’s cool enough to have the chance again to talk to the author who inspired me to write. It’s even more amazing to hear that she liked my work.
I mean, it can’t get better than this, right? It’s like in Up when Carl got to meet his hero, only mine is a genuinely cool person and not secretly a villain. Okay, so maybe it’s not really like Up at all, actually.
You know what? I’m still super excited and words…I can’t…I can’t word right now.
Have you ever had the chance to meet the person inspired you? Tell me all about it!
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