Scenes from the release of “Meredith & Me,” at BookPeople on Dec. 11.
This just in: “Meredith & Me” was the No. 1 seller in non-fiction for the week of Dec. 13 at BookPeople.
I am teary-eyed at that news because it’s not just an author’s dream to sell her book, it’s the thought that so many of you bought it because you believed I had a story to tell and something important to say about raising a daughter with disabilities. Thank you to all of you. We had more than 100 people show up and I am still pinching myself.
And my daughter? I have never seen Meredith walk so fast or smile so big when she joined me up front. She had the time of her life as you can see in the picture above. So did I.
Thank you Beth Bishop for the engaging photos. You captured so many wonderful faces – and shoes. Enjoy the pictures. If I missed your name on a photo, please let me know.
I’m an author!
Spike revealed she was a New Jersey debutante. Then she said fabulous things about me in her introduction.
Meredith (left) chats with fans.
Debbie Ratcliffe and Maline and Dudley McCalla sit up front. Author Ruth Pennebaker on far right (in black)
Mentor to all, author Spike Gillespie
Author’s mother (left), Adrienne Watt, husband (center), Jim Hemphill and friend (far right) Oliver Franklin
Meredith with good friend Grant
Gwen, fellow advocate and awesome mother.
High school friends, (l to r) Bill, Sheryl and Tere
Caroline brings a sister’s perspective.
A crowd gathers
Soon, more than 100 people
Reading from “Meredith & Me”
Spike and her favorite debutante
Love that stage
Caroline reflecting. To her left is Ami, who brought inclusion to gardening at Lamar M.S.
Meredith and Emma (they met in first grade)
Introducing my family, Caroline and Jim
Greeting Holly after more than 30 years
Sent to the event by dear friend and journalist Marnie Blennerhassett from Australia
You can’t imagine the thrill
With good friend Stephen Bates
With sweet neighbors (l to r) Lehua, Elizabeth, Janee
Greeting old Statesman pals Sharon Jayson and Ken Herman. Best question of the night from Herman: Who will play you in the movie? Jennifer Aniston. Accepting other answers.
Meredith has questions. She still has questions.
Parents who know my different road
Pat, (right) a picnic table parent and friend at Gullett Elementary
Thanks to all who waited for a signature, including one of my favorite couples, Debbie and R.G.Ratcliffe
Neal Watt (left) and Uncle Jim Monnig (right)
Caroline with Fiona
Good friend Dallas Webster who taught Meredith not to be afraid of dogs, especially one named April.
Best computer teacher, Anne, (left) and librarian Kay, (right). Go Gullett Elementary!
Meredith with good friend Chris.
Few know Meredith like her pediatrician, Dr. Paige Suffredini (green blouse). We love you, Paige!
Talking to friends before I talk at the podium.
Gil (right) leans in to get a signature. He taught Meredith to walk. There are just not enough words of thanks. Actually there is a whole chapter, but you know.
Meredith’s high school friends including Sierra, Hannah and Chris.
Give them a raise! Meredith’s teacher Kim (right) and teacher assistant Eddie (left).
(l to r) Jim Hemphill, Pat Beach and Rob Bishop
So many friends.
Meredith’s friend Morgan (left) and disability rights advocate and teacher Tom (right).
Signing with my trusted BookPeople guide, Michael McCarthy.
Sweet moment between Meredith and Julie.
Fellow author Ed Crowell (center) and Linda Crowell (left)
Three women who make Meredith’s world better.
Caroline (left) and good friend (right) Maggie Bishop. In back is UT Professor Nina Zuna.
Sarah greets Cheryl George and husband Jim, who knew Meredith when she was born.
Chris Purkiss (right) amazing teacher and dad.
A lighter moment during the Q&A.
My friend of more than 30 years, Tere O. She keeps me sane.
Jim joins me up front.
Meredith with Emma and her mom, Susan.
“Meredith & Me” chat with friends.
What a night.
Loved every minute of this with you.
Two favorite moms, Sarah (left) and Julie.
Only in my dreams…..till NOW.
And the crowd is still there……
Best classroom at McCallum High School!
My friend Tere reacts after finding out my book is sold out in the store. Best. Picture. Ever.
Flowers from Spike, my original editor. Hope I did you proud.
Greeting Susan Prior and her daughter, both huge advocates for people with disabilities.
My former classmates and good friends, Claire Osborn and Oliver Franklin.
Greeting Ami and her daughter, Hannah.
A true advocate and fighter for special education, Ann Jinkins. Honored you came!
So many people from so many parts of my life with Meredith. Former neighbor Matt (next to blue sign) loves all of Meredith’s jokes.
The other daughter. I’m pretty proud of her too.
My favorite UT professor, Nina Zuna. She is teaching a generation of students how to work with kids with disabilities. A brilliant advocate in every way.
My good friend Jim Phillips taught me everything there is to know about reporting over the years. His stamp is on this book.
Spoiler alert! Both these women are in the book because they changed Meredith’s life. Marjie Wood (left) and Sue Fowler (right). Happy reading.
(l to r) Dave Harmon, Jim Hemphill and Pat Beach. Was it something I said?
(Left) High school friend Regina Smith, my biggest fan who has praised every word I have ever written. Thank you Reg!
I take final questions under the not so subtle “Gift Ideas” sign. What a great evening at a great bookstore.