This past weekend my daughter, granddaughter and I made what has become an annual fall visit to Weber Cider Mill Farm to buy pumpkins and to enjoy some of the activities. Amelia and I did the maze together. Looking at it now, the picture feels like a metaphor for life as a writer! I wish I could just write–I love the exploration of ideas, the research, following the characters imaginatively, sharing with Amelia and talking through points where I get stuck. What I don’t love so much is all the other stuff that has to do with getting some traction for the books. It is really uncharted territory for me. And it has kept me so busy that I feel like I am–to borrow an expression from my mother–honking at my own tail lights!
One thing I’ve been doing is getting Book Stop pages ready for the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators annual event that displays work of members. I have pages for The Black Alabaster Box and for The Red Abalone Shell. If you have time to visit, please sign the guest book. Small things can mean a lot.
Most of my time has been spent planning for the upcoming event celebrating The Black Alabaster Box and raising funds for the Page Turners, an after school program for kids in Clinton South (Hell’s Kitchen):
If you are in the New York area I’d love to see you there. It will be good fun for a good cause.
When I met with Kathy Conry and Laura Bergquist in New York a couple of weekends ago, I began to get really excited about the program. On the one hand, we learned that Alan H. Green has returned to his role in The School of Rock–The Musical, So he can’t be with us–bummer! But Kathy is a pro. Undaunted, she already had a back-up plan knowing that people in theater have to make work their top priority.
In one productive meeting we agreed on a plan for the evening, excerpts from The Black Alabaster Box to use for the Readers Theatre and possible music. I spent the next day working on the script and left it in their good hands. Laura is working on the music and Kathy has already put together a cast to read the script I provided. My job, having provided the script is to stay out of the way! (Now that is a job I can take to.) They are on a roll. Last I heard somebody is working on a campfire setting and they are planning to have little cups of chili and possibly mini-corn muffins.
Back to the maze. Amelia is so tall this year that I could see her had bobbing up above the bales of hay as she worked her way through. I think there is a metaphor in that, too. There was so much joy in it seeing how much she has grown–the joy is what I connect to when everything seems too much. Joy in the work, the sharing, and the joy that comes when a kid says, “So when are you going to have Book 3 ready?”