Thursday, August 9, 2007

The perfect book

Today at my writers group meeting, Kim Marcus was raving about a mid grade novel coming out this September called A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban (and I so want to steal that title and am mad I didn't think of it first even though I have no story to go with it).

So, I was putzing around on the internet to check out Linda Urban and read her thoughts on The Perfect Book - which I thought were great. I particularly liked this line:

There is no perfect book. But there is a novel to be written that is perfectly you.

I love that.

Then that triggered a memory: Quite a few years ago an editor, who rarely comments on other writers' books to me, commented that she thought Because of Winn Dixie was "an almost perfect book."

Now, this was waaaaay back when that book first came out - before the Newbery - before anybody knew who Kate D. was - back in the day....

So, Kate was doing a booksigning at a small bookstore near me. I had read the book and loved her writing, so I went to the signing. As I said, this was before all that big time star book stuff. There were, maybe, 15 people there.

Kate did a quick reading from a then-unpublished The Tiger Rising.

When I got my copy of Winn Dixie signed, I told her that an editor had called it "an almost perfect book".

Me (jokingly): "But you know, I will write the perfect book."

Her: [smile]

Then, because she has a great sense of humor, she signed my book (I have erased her signature - this is the internet, you know. And notice that cute little wagging-tailed dog she drew on there.)

Note to Kate: I'm still working on that perfect book....but, look out - I'm comin'!


Bruce said...

Oh, Barbara, your books ARE perfect...but your Yiddish might need a little work.

"Putzing" around might refer to "behaving in an idle manner... puttering," I suppose, but that's not how I've ever heard the word used (except in a vulgar way).

Instead, you might want to think about "futzing" around the next time you're playing around on the internet.

Anyway... not to worry... I get completely farmischt (confused) over these words, too.

Besides, Yiddish, shmiddish, I knew what you meant.

Btw, your blog's wonderful!

Barbara O'Connor said...

Hey, Bruce! Well, I'm such a schmo. :-) Futzing - that's what I meant.

Words words words - you gotta love 'em, huh?

Thanks for stopping by.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Barb - what a great post! Love it, and I love Kate's message and autograph.
Actually, I think your books are pretty darn perfect, especially HOW TO STEAL A DOG. There is something very special about that book. I want to re-read it, and I actually got it out yesterday to do just that!

Barbara O'Connor said...

Aw, shucks...thanks Kimberley!