Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Please don't tell Rebecca Kai Dotlich this, but I love to watch her work. Rebecca and I met six years ago at the first writing retreat that Kathi Appelt put together at her family's Texas ranch. That second day we all found our places to write. Rebecca's place became one end of the dining table. This is a high traffic area because one must pass the table to get to the kitchen where brownies, pie, and coffee pot await.

This intrusion doesn't seem to bother Rebecca. She is a friendly little worker, usually looking up from her page when we pass, smiling or softly asking, "How is it going?"

That doesn't mean she isn't working. She is probably trying to catch the right word. Because the right words mean a lot to Rebecca. Sometimes if we are really lucky, we can witness the moment of captivity. Her eyes grow wide, she smiles as she types, and her head does a little dance as she reads what she just wrote. Is there any wonder I delight in stealing peeks as she crafts?

Rebecca is a poet and keeps notebooks of words. The results have been wonderful books such as Lemonade Sun,

Over in the Pink House,

What is Science?,

and Peanut and Pearl's Picnic Adventure.

Last month her new book, Bella and Bean arrived, causing quite a buzz. Let me give you a short synopsis. Bella is a serious poet. Bean is her well-meaning fun-loving friend who doesn't seem to understand how hard it is to find the right word.

This story is a lovely tribute to the creative process and friendship. In real life, Rebecca makes both of those things seem so easy.

Tomorrow you, too, can steal a peek of how Rebecca works. Please join us then when Rebecca Kai Dotlich becomes our next AT HOME profile.

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