Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Haven Kimmel, A Girl Named Zippy

When I think of Haven, now that I've seen her and heard her speak, I think of one word. Smooth. Oh yes, and one more word. Precious.

Last night I was totally (leftover word from the 80s) blown away by her reading. It was as if she'd memorized her entire book, because she barely looked at her pages. Reading from her new book, SHE GOT UP OFF THE COUCH--a memoir about her mother, she kept the jam-packed room at The Regulator in Durham mowed over with her humor. I laughed, I cried. Her delivery and timing were perfect. I kept thinking ... how could she speak so clearly, so precisely, and be so damn funny at the same time?

If you've read A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY, you'll instantly fall in love with her. First of all, the picture on the cover is worth a million bucks. But her anecdotes and metaphors are beautifully written. And now that I've met her (which I could kick myself for forgetting my camera) I can see why the voice in her books is so original. Because Haven is her voice. She isn't one way on the page and another in person. And frankly, I loved every minute I sat there mesmerized by her.

Later, when she signed my copy of ZIPPY, I was again surprised by her concern about ME. Mentioning I was a writer, she immediately grabbed a pad of paper and said, "Here, write the name of your book and web site down ... I want to read it."

Who knew that a girl who used to be called, Zippy ... could be so cool and collected when she grew up? But I'll bet Haven would argue that she's still a little girl at times ... inside ... and when she sits down to write, she's still and always--Zippy.

Blessings to you and yours.

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