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My Writer's Journal

House Calls

About four years ago I got a call from the mother of a student at a local school, asking if I'd talk to the eighth graders about writing. But when the school couldn't arrange it, the mother asked me to come to their home for tea and talk to her daughter, Erika. Normally I don't do house calls, but the mom was persistent: her daughter loved my books, etc.

It was a nice visit. We drank tea, ate chocolate-dipped strawberries, and talked about books and writing. I signed MARIE, DANCING for her. Since then Erika has popped up in the news more times than I can count for winning prizes in science fairs. Last week Erika DeBenedictis, now 18, took the big one: Grand prize of $100,000 in the Intel Science Talent Search.

I sent her a copy of THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF CHARLEY DARWIN, my book about another scientist. Maybe I'll be invited back again for tea.

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