Friday, October 11, 2013

Lucy in Real Life

I met a woman through Nextdoor who writes children's books. Specifically, she writes middle grade fiction. And guess where she lives? Directly across the street from me in the apartment under Rosalie.

Her name is Deb Perry. In the photo she's holding the e-book she just published. It's called Lucy in Real Life.

It's a wondrous story involving friendship, family, bullies, dragons (the Asian kind), and quirky characters. On top of that, Lucy has a fashion sense that rivals Tavi. Some of my favorite parts describe the clothes Lucy's created for herself. There are many examples, but here are three of my favorites:

... She wore a pleated skirt she'd made out of magazine pages one rainy day last winter. Using as many yellow and blue pictures as possible, it reminded her of a flag waving in a sunny sky. Plus it made a fun crinkling noise when she walked. She topped it off with a simple white tank top and went to go help Noni make the cinnamon rolls ...

...Saturday morning dawned bright blue and white with spacious skies ... In the back of her closet she found what she was looking for--her sail skirt. It was made from an actual sail that they'd found in the garage during last year's big clean out.

Papi had had a lot of hobbies. There was nothing he hadn't tried once and nothing he'd done twice so there was no end to the interesting old junk in Noni's garage. Holding the skirt in her hand, looking at the thick hand-stitched seam that Noni had to help her sew, Lucy sat down on the floor of her closet. She'd been living in a fashion tomb, but the skirt felt almost alive. What had she been thinking? Trying to fit in wasn't even working. And here she had a closet full of life and untold stories.

She rubbed the nubs of her fingers over the thick stitches. They had to buy special needles to work the thick canvas. It was so stiff that the skirt stuck out at the sides like a strange architectural tutu. She wore it over red shorts and a crisp blue t-shirt and felt ready for anything. Which was good, because today there was a feeling in the air that something was about to change...

Noni was in the garden cutting back old branches from the giant sage bush that the hummingbirds loved. Hundreds of little bright red flowers covered he ground around her, giving Lucy the most beautiful idea.

Lucy knelt and took her time gathering them up into a garden pail, examining their long, slender forms, thinking, dreaming, picturing.

"I see you dreaming up a dress Lucia."

Lucy nodded, humming while she worked. She carried in the pail and emptied it out on the dining room table. Then she threaded a needle and began experimenting. The flowers were delicate, but Lucy used a light touch to thread them and sew them in rows spiraling around the hips of a polyester dress with a poufy red bell skirt. As magic flowed from her fingertips she forgot herself, time, even her impossible dragon friend until Noni called her for dinner. She was exhausted, but it was worth it. She had made a thing of great beauty and she knew it...

Oh, and guess where this Lucy lives. Right here in the Outer Richmond.

Do you know any girls 8-12? It's a great time to download this book because as of now it's available free on iBooks, or for 99 cents on Amazon.