Moving Poem inspired by The Queen of Water!


Hey guys! 

I had a great time last night doing a talk/workshop for the awesome members of our local SCBWI group!  A special guest was lovely high-schooler Bobbi Anderson, who I've corresponded with over the past year.  She's a fantastic writer and poetess who met Maria Virginia (my co-author of The Queen of Water) in Ecuador on a study abroad program.

Here's a stunning poem she wrote last spring about how Maria Virginia impacted her life at a critical time... I get shivers every time I read it.  I love the emotion and inspiration and bits of humor in the poem... and the form is very cool and bold.  Bobbi has heaps of talent to be able to say so much in so few words.  (I really admire this, since I tend to be on the verbose side.) I'm including her letter first, to give you context for her poem.  Et voila!

Hello Virginia,
     My name is Bobbi Anderson and I am studying with The Traveling School. I want you to know it was such an honor being able to meet you a few weeks ago. You are truly inspiring and I hope that you know you changed 16 teenage girls perspectives on going after what they want in life. 
     An unfortunate event happened to me while I was in Ecuador, a few days before I met you in Otavalo. I tripped on a hammock and fractured my jaw, and was sent home to the United States a few days after we met you. I want you to know that reading your book got me through having to come home from The Traveling School, but also having the positive attitude that is required in situations like mine and yours. 
     The day after I broke my jaw, I was finishing up Queen of Water, and I got to the passage that talks about how "Querer es Poder" always got you through your tough times, and drove you to go after what you wanted. The minute I read the passage in the book, I wrote it down in my journal, and I look at it every day. Having to come home from The Traveling School is something that was very difficult for me, and without having your optimism through your life fresh in my mind, I don't think I would of been as motivated to stay positive through my experience. 
     So in conclusion I want to thank you, thank you for being the woman you are today, thank you for your incredible stories, and most of all thank you for your book and your time with The Traveling School. I am back in Colorado for two more weeks, and I am living with my grandparents at the moment, I have only been here for a week and they both read your book in two days. You have an inspiring story Virginia, thank you for sharing. I will be back in Ecuador March 14th, with a smile on my face because of you, Querer es Poder! The poem below is an assignment I had for my Literature class, I hope you enjoy!
Love Always,
 Bobbi Anderson
P.S. I have attached a picture from the first time we met you in Otavalo. I am the girl to the right of you in the white shirt. It was an honor getting to meet you!

She got over there
Air, smelt of determination: No longer contamination
The WORLD knocked at her door
Brought her generosity.
Took LIFE with SPICE.. Stuck to her word like lice.
“Longa tonta, you fool” drove her to school.
“I hope I can forgive you” THEN, she INSPIRED us TOO.

Laura here again... isn't that wonderful? I love it!

Maria Virginia has really been enjoying meeting with groups of students studying abroad in Ecuador who've read the book as part of their trip preparation.  She's done this for several programs now, and from what I hear, it's been special for everyone involved.

I have to give my Lil Dude a bath now, but sometime in the next week or so, I'll post a batch of photos Maria Virginia sent me of her family, including some insanely cute photos of new baby Leslie! Stay tuned...

Bobbi, thank you for your vibrant presence and poem-- I'm sure it will move other readers as it did for me!


P.S. My Northern Colorado Writers workshop was rescheduled due to the snowstorm (which turned out to be a dud. :-(  The new date is Sunday, April 7 from 1-4 pm.  You can register on the NCW website.  Maybe I'll see you there... :-)

Also, friendly reminder: I'll be at Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, Fort Collins, talking about my books and writing for teens along with my good friend Jeannie Mobley (author of Katerina's Wish) on Saturday, March 30 at 2 pm. Free, and everyone welcome!