School visits are great for a writer's ego. All that attention: hugs from the kids, applause, praise for my books from teachers and librarians acts like helium. Such was the case yesterday during presentations at Hastings Elementary in Duncanville, an exemplary school with interested, smart students who asked great questions and gave good hugs. In the course of a day’s presentations I was transformed, as I often am during school visits, from lowly, struggling, will-I-ever-write-a-good-sentence writer to ROCK STAR. Overflowing with Sallie Fields-esk “they like me, they really like me” jubilation, I strapped myself into the driver seat of my rented, should-be-a-chauffeured-limo-because-I-deserve-it Hyundai and headed back down the highway toward Houston. Off in the west, the late afternoon sun was shining, the radio was blasting Country and I was feeling quite puffed up and proud—especially delighted with how the impromptu 4th grade lunch-time book club chat had turned out—and looking forward to reaching The Woodlands early enough to enjoy a girlfriend dinner with Liz and Dorothy, when a tire blew out.
Believing the noise coming from the car’s rear end had to be caused by the grated road, I swerved across to the smoother other lane and then back over to the shoulder. This couldn’t be happen to me! Didn’t this car know who I was? People—Fans (aren’t all friends fans?)—were waiting on me. I didn’t have time to mess with a flat. The nerve…and me in a dress!
Nothing like a flat to deflat a swollen head.