And a peculiar thing happened, which led to another peculiar thing, which led to the most peculiar thing of all.
The first peculiar thing was our most wonderful indie bookstore, Malaprops, hosted a Roald Dahl event: local authors were invited to read from James and The Giant Peach.
My daughter was in afterschool, and for a second I thought, 'Well, I guess I'm not going, then,' but the next second I realized how much I wanted to hear James and The Giant Peach. So I went.
The next peculiar thing was that while I was greatly enjoying all the local authors' renditions of James and The Giant Peach (and drawing them and sorry I didn't get their names, but that wasn't the point, really) our most wonderful Asheville bookseller, Caroline Green, approached me and whispered something in my ear.
One of the authors hadn't shown up. Would I like to read James and The Giant Peach?
Would I?! And practically become one of those legendary local Asheville authors right then and there?
The next peculiar thing was I overcame my aversion to standing at a podium before even a small and book-loving group of people and got up and read. The final peculiar thing was looking at the audience and registering the dearth of children. And realizing we love Roald Dahl because we love him, not because we know he makes our children happy.
Because we love great books. And that's who we are. That's why we were there, at Malaprops Bookstore, listening to each other read about cabbage-faced aunts, giant snarky centipedes and Cloud Men.
Thanks, Caroline. And thank you, Roald Dahl. And Happy Birthday!