Poor children's book author Lisa Yee. Her computer broke down, taking with it her latest manuscript. She bruised her face after sustaining a fall. And at a book festival this weekend, the bookseller made a mistake and ordered piles of books by Lisa See, the bestselling novelist for grownups.

Instead of being defeated, she directs her blog readers to a Wall Street Journal online piece about these "last lecture" series in which invited professors deliver a lecture as if it is their last. But the case of a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor, it really is his last. At 46 years of age and the father of three young children, he has pancreatic cancer and is expected to live for only a few more weeks. In his often humorous lecture about realizing your dreams, he shows a photo of his childhood room--mathematical equations written on the walls--evidence of his passion for science. He explains that his parents didn't say anything about him defacing the walls and decreasing the resale value of the house. He then encourages parents to allow more "writing on the walls." Really beautiful news piece. If you're in the dumps, take a look.


Looking forward to seeing Lisa at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association dinner in a couple of weeks.

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