In Blog

Today, I’m going to be on my local NPR station on a show called The State of Things, discussing Young Adult fiction. It’s on at noon, EST, and if you want to listen, click here for details on how to do so. And wish me luck! I’m a little nervous.

Meanwhile, the weekend, and the Fourth of July, approaches. Last night I talked to my neighbor, David, who asked me if I knew anyone who was going to be in South Carolina in the next few days. You see, you can’t buy real firecrackers here in NC, it’s against the law. You can buy sparklers, and bottle rockets, and stuff like that, but David and his friends are serious about fireworks, as I found out a few years back. I’d gone to South Carolina for a librarian conference, and on the way back, I stopped at a fireworks place to buy something for my husband. (You know guys, they like stuff that blows up.) I was going to buy something simple, but then the kid working there came up and asked me if I was looking for anything in particular, and I said no, I just wanted to get something for my husband. He said, very solemnly, “Come with me,” and led me over to this display, taking down this one box that had cherries all over it. “This is what you want,” he said. I looked at the sparklers I was planning to buy, you know, the bottle rockets, stuff I could buy at home anyway, and I said, “Well, I was really just planning to get these,” and he shook his head, firm. “No,” he said, “you can’t buy those. He wants these, they rock. Trust me.”

So I bought them. Brought them home. The husband was like, “Cool!” but then we had this really dry summer, total drought conditions, so we never set them off. They sat in my closet for awhile. Finally, the next summer, David was having a party for the Fourth. So I brought over my fireworks, and said we hadn’t used them that, in fact, I wasn’t even sure what they were, they might suck, I’d kind of been talked into them, but whatever. They take them down below the house, examine them, consult with each other, and a few minutes later, there’s this huge boom and hiss and then bright colors sailing overhead, sparkling and trailing and totally amazing. Turns out the fireworks guy was right: they did rock. It was so awesome, and ever since then everyone always associates me with great fireworks, although it’s been awhile since I’ve delivered. David actually said he and a friend might drive down to S.C. on Saturday, just to make such a purchase: to me, that is real dedication. But if you can’t blow stuff up on the Fourth of July, when can you? My point exactly.

As for me, I’m more focused on the food aspect of the holiday. I’m planning to make shishkabobs AND apple pie, both somewhat complicated endeavors, and I may try a spinach dip, as well. Okay, so it’s not pyrotechnics, but it’s still exciting. For me, anyway.

have a good day everyone!