If you look up the word “introvert” in the dictionary, my picture should be there. It’s not. But it should be because I am one of the most introverted people (at least from my perspective). My need to rest and recharge—alone—is so great, I could easily move away from my family for a bit of time. Then again, maybe my family—four children, a husband, and four animals—is the reason I can even contemplate moving away for any length of time.
Chicken? Egg? You tell me.
That’s not the point. The point is that I’d rather stay inside my home and be by myself, but this writing life—well, sometimes you can’t do that. Like when a retired librarian named Joan emails you to say that she’s read your book and enjoyed it, and she invites you to speak at her library. That’s not a good time to say that I’d rather stay in my own home, is it?
(Actually, to be quite frank, I was thrilled by the invitation. There are few better things than to have someone say that they enjoyed something I wrote.)
So a few days ago, I made the hour trek to Versailles, Ohio. (And for those who don’t know, the Ohio folk don’t pronounce “Versailles” like the French do, vər-ˈsī. No, they say the word as vər- sāls. My French-trained brain goes a little mad with that pronunciation, but that’s not the point, either!). The drive there was lovely: I-75 decided to behave (somewhat), and soon I was making my way on two-lane state routes that wound their way through gorgeous farmland. As I looked around at the scenery, I thought to myself, I could be anywhere in the Midwest right now. And that thought, oddly enough, made me smile.
So did the actual library in Versailles: the Worch Memorial Public Library. For a village in Ohio with an approximate population of 2800 people, they have a fabulous library. Warm and inviting with walls of windows that let in natural light, this library can’t help but welcome people in. And neither can Joan, who was right there to say hello and get me acclimated.
I won’t drone on about the discussion this lively and engaging group and I had regarding Rewrite the Stars and the publishing industry (and John Green! How perfect is that?), but let me say this: the time passed so quickly that all of a sudden, an hour and a half had passed. And then, it was time for cookies. (Cookies! Right? Again, how perfect!)
If you know me and my introvert self at all, one thought might be in your mind right now: How’d you feel afterward?
Moment of truth: Riding a high of a good night combined with energizing music on the way home took me all the way to my driveway. After that, exhaustion set in. Talking for that long about me and anything that sort of concerns me is difficult, and I think I’m still recovering. But I can’t thank Joan and her peers enough for their time, interest, and attention. My only regret is that I forgot to have someone take a picture of me with the group.
If you get a chance to head out to Versailles and the library, take it!
Image of the interior of the Worch Memorial Public Library by the author.