I met Jewell Parker Rhodes today. She is truly one of the nicest people I have ever met. She writes novels and she is the current director of the Piper House. I want to be like her.
Here’s how it happens. I had finished up with a meeting across campus from where I normally work. I was walking back to work but decided to take a little break first. I stopped at Piper House and sat beside a fountain, reading Girls in Pants.
Suddenly there was a bird in the fountain; he was black, and purple, and velvety looking. He walked around the fountain, eyeing me. Then he jumped in and splashed himself all over. I watched in fascination for a couple of minutes until the bird flew away. Jewell Parker Rhodes was suddenly next to me and said, “Wasn’t that beautiful?” She proceeded to tell me the history of Piper House, and how she had insisted that the fountain be put in, along with several other details that make Piper House so inviting.
I knew exactly who she was, but she of course didn’t know who I was. Yet she talked with me as if we were old friends. We introduced ourselves to each other. We exchanged our dream of writing a young adult novel (she writes mostly adult fiction). She asked me to email her so she could mail me a book. She said that we would bug each other until we had started writing our novels.
Meeting her has inspired me, not just to write (though she did inspire that), but also to be a good human being; to love and to embrace life. I am filled with light, just because of her wonderful spirit. I want to be that for other people. I feel so blessed to have met her.