Today, one more reading from The Unfinished Angel. Sometimes the Angel throws pine cones at Signora Divino and her grandson Vinny. Sometimes the Angel pinches them a little. In this scene, the Angel explains why.
This is the last scene I'll read from this book. Probably.
Sometimes I know early on in the writing process to whom the final book will be dedicated; sometimes I don't know until the book is ready to be printed. I had thought that I would dedicate The Unfinished Angel to my granddaughter Pearl, who inspired this book when she told me her first story: "Once upon a time in Spain there was an angel, and the angel was me."
But then, in January, 2009, when I was about to finalize the dedication page, four people dear to me died within a span of three weeks. I felt as if I had to gather them together on this dedication page as a way of keeping them 'alive.'
Dennis W. Creech: my brother, eleven months younger than I, he was the middle child of five. I love this photo (below) of us. We look rag-tag and a bit devilish:
Mary Crist Fleming: 96 years old, the founder of the TASIS schools in Europe. She was a charismatic educator, my husband's and my 'boss', friend, and muse for the past thirty years. She lived in the villa attached to the tower in which the Angel lives in The Unfinished Angel. Mrs. Fleming was living in that villa while I was writing the book, and she told me, "I will be that angel some day, and I will live in the tower." I bet she is there now.
Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz: Most people in the children's book world knew or had heard of these two women, both librarians, both supremely dedicated, generous and loving. I admired them both but knew Kate best: she made me laugh and she made me think. Kathy and Kate died in a tragic car accident en route to the airport following the annual ALA conference.
“Maybe we’re here only to say: house, bridge, well, gate, jug, olive-tree, window--at most, pillar, tower--but to say them, remember, oh! to say them in a way that the things themselves never dreamed of so intensely.” --Rilke