I Love Authors!
July 09, 2013
Recently, I attended an author event at Unity on the Plaza. Jeannette Walls, the author of the newly published, The Silver Star, addresses a crowd of over 400. Some may be familiar with her memoir, The Glass Castle, or Half-Broke Horses. Since I've read both and enjoy her writing style and life story, I was anxious to hear about this novel. However, this is fiction with shades of her life thrown in for good measure, I’m sure.
Jeannette talked about her life described in The Glass Castle. She was able to rise above horrible living conditions and went on to be a successful writer living the good life in New York. One night, on her way to a party, she saw a woman going through a dumpster. The woman was her mother.
In this day and age with a short attention span shared by many, an author who can hold people captive with a story for over an hour is impressive. I was spellbound as I was reading her books.
Along with a friend, we stood in line at the end of the evening to get my book signed. We tried to think of something intelligent to say in just the few minutes we had with Jeannette. Since we were both retired, my friend said, "We’re both retired teachers and go out once a month to feed the homeless with Uplift."
I said, "Last year on my birthday, eighteen homeless came to my birthday picnic. One man went up to a friend and told him, 'We’re not homeless; we’re houseless'.”
Jeannette’s face lit up. She replied, "Yes, we didn’t always have a conventional house, but we always had a home with loving parents."
Some writers use lots of words to paint a picture for their story. Pat Conroy and Kate Morton use a box of 144 crayons, and their descriptions are extensive. Jeannette uses a box of 16 crayons to paint her story. Her paragraphs are crisp without a myriad of details.
I like to draw up a chair, get a glass of iced tea, and settle down with a book. I certainly did that with The Silver Star, as I finished it in just three days.