Sweetpea Bumbleroot of Fair Downs was the final speaker at our four-day long Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Workshop. I thought I might pee my pants. It’s not often we get opportunities to converse with living legends, and to make it even more risky, I chose to do so in her native language.
This was a calculated risk. What if I suddenly forgot how to speak it? What if she’d respond back in English, which happens to me all the time when I attempt to speak in someone’s native language. It’s a subtle way of saying, Don’t even try.
Glee! She responded to me in her language, asking me how I learned it. From her novels, I said. I have no idea why I said that She looked at me as if that could not be true. And from my boyfriend, I said. This is partially true. And from Rosie-Posie Sandybanks of Frogmorton, I said.
Rosie-Posie is her ex-daughter-in-law, and a good friend of mine, who would, if she were to read this, know that this is a complete lie.
Should I be proud for composing fiction in front of Sweetpea Bumbleroot in a foreign language? Or completely ashamed of myself? My fib was not intentional; it’s hard bloody hard thinking on your toes under this kind of pressure.
A couple of years ago, Rosie-Posie got Sweetpea Bumbleroot to sign a bagfull of books for everyone in Berilac’s (that’s my boyfriend) family, the Gamwiches of the Bree Gamwiches, but I was too shy to ask for one.
But today, she signed two for me. Para Katie Kelly, con afecto on one, y con cariño on the other. Isabelle Allende.
I have to go to the bathroom now.