Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Happy Thanksgiving! Last week, it seemed fitting I wrote the acknowledgment for my book, SKINNY. I enjoyed sharing my gratitude with the people behind the scenes and was humbled by the many wonderful friends and colleagues who support my writing life. I am so blessed.

This week, in the spirit of the holidays, the Muses are up to a bit of fun. I hope you'll join us. Here's the premise. Invite ten people to a dinner party at your house. All the dinner guests have to be living and we suggest a gender balance. (Of course, rules are made to be broken, so don't get hung up on the logistics).

Who would you include in this fantasy dinner party?

When we first came up with this topic, I had no idea how much fun I would have. My list is below and, of course, it could change if you asked me the same question tomorrow. There was, however, a theme that quickly developed, I love lively dinner conversation. I was drawn toward people with stories to tell and a diversity of backgrounds. I also specifically chose people who didn't necessarily share my own opinions. For me, that makes a great social gathering.

So here's my list:

1. Judy Blume - Who knows more about children's books? I heard her speak at SCBWI this summer, and I was in awe. She's gracious and smart and beautiful. I could barely stammer out a hello when I saw her later in the hotel coffee shop. Book Royalty.

2. Archbishop Desmond Tutu - I was fortunate to hear him speak at a university event. His amazing life, and incredible story of dedication and faith, was so inspiring. I was honored to hear him in an sold out auditorium, but the thought of speaking to him in person definitely puts him on my list.

3. Adele- I'm really into her music right now (Isn't everyone?). From what little I know about her personally, I think there's a good story lurking below the surface. Broken heart, "overnight" success. What was left behind? I'm curious and I love her accent.

4. Ron Howard - He has a visual gift for storytelling, which obviously intrigues me, but I'm also interested in his life story. From child star to Oscar winning director. How did it happen? What did he learn along the way?

5. Tina Fey - Wonderful comedic writer. Smart, funny, strong, successful. Who wouldn't want to have dinner with this woman?

6. Stephen King- I liked his book on craft, but I also love the way his mind works. He takes the usual and turns it into the unusual, and even bizarre. That creative twist is fascinating, and often horrifying.

7. Lyle Lovett - I love Lyle's music and I had to have a true Texan on the list. He and I share similar backgrounds (mutual friends, same university, etc).

8. Condoleezza Rice- She's a concert pianist and grew up in Denver. A fascinating woman, and oh the stories she could share (no matter what your politics).

9. Paula Deen - Because someone has to make the dinner, right? Besides I think she's funny and it's a nod to my southern roots.

10. George Clooney- because I need someone to sit by me at the table :)

Now just for a moment imagine this mix of people assembled at one table for a long, extended dinner conversation. Don't you think there'd be some amazing tales and lots of laughter? I do.

Come on. Try it. Who would you invite?

P.S. When I told my friend, Rod, that Adele was on the list, he said, "You know, she's going to have throat surgery. I don't think she's supposed to talk."

I said, "You do know NONE of these people are actually coming to my house for dinner, right?"

He blinked at me for a minute.

"Oh... right," he finally mumbled.


Oh my, an excellent TG, especially with Desmond Tutu! How wonderful you saw him in person. Wellll....Emma Thompson next to Ransom Riggs next to Florence & The Machine (w/out Machine) next to Joan Didion next to Bono next to Zilpha Keatley Snyder next to Warren Buffet next to a mime next to poet Bob Hicok next to Michelle Obama. Or something like that. But really, JUST Adele would be fine with me. Love her.

PB, I must know who this "mime" is :) I would be worried about the glassware...

The mime would have to mime his own glassware, food and conversation. And you're right to be worried.

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