Last night I spoke at the annual awards ceremony and author’s reception for the Oak Hill Young Writers’ Club in Sabattus, Maine. I knew that the event would give me a chance to brush up on my public speaking skills before my award reception Sunday evening. I knew that the event would give me a chance to see what my Creative Bookings clients were experiencing. I knew the event would be my chance to inspire a group of kids who were interested in the thing that I love most.
What I didn’t realize is how much they would inspire me.
The Oak Hill Young Writers’ Club started with a handful of children at a single school and have since grown to one hundred children throughout the the school district. The teachers and volunteers leading the charge are passionate about children and passionate about writing. They see cuts in school budgets year after year and have “band[ed] together to become a foundation of support for [the] children.” Through business and community donations, volunteers, and the kindness of local authors, they have focussed their energy on making writing appealing and cool for students through club meetings, writing contests, and scholarships.
After the speakers, I was honored to watch the attending young authors receive their t-shirts and certificates of participation for the year. The contest winners received their prizes. Their smiles, and the pride on their parent’s faces, lit up the room. In that moment, I was reminded of the pure joy of writing without the expectation of publication or money or awards.
I wish for you all a day of writing without ego.
Thank you! Shepherd Elementary School Early Readers.
This morning I accompanied my mother to her volunteer position as a reader for the Shepherd School Early Readers program. I’ve discussed the program here originally, and here as a follow up. (So I suppose this is a follow up to the follow up.) I was fabulously surprised by the number of books that my colleagues at the MidAtlantic SCBWI region collected and was there as an SCBWI representative to take pictures and do a little research for an article I’m pitching to the SCBWI Bulletin. I DID NOT know that I was the main event. How wonderful for me that I got to talk a little about my own book, do a reading, and meet the inspiring children who will read these donated books.
They kept thanking me, and gave me a gift, and that wonderful signed poster in the picture– but truly no thanks was necessary: 1) the MidAtlantic SCBWI folks did the heavy lifting and 2) being able to read to and take in the energy of the kids was more valuable than any gift.
It was just what I needed to keep working on my new novel and handle the agent waiting game– AGAIN. At the end of the studying, and the work, and the art, and the craft, and the business, is the children. Let us all give thanks for the readers.
1. Roar! is off my desk and with my agent. I’m eager to hear his feedback and hope, hope, hope he likes it. Cross your fingers for me.
2. Because Roar! is off my desk I brought my sewing machine to the first grade to help sew memory pillows. They draw on a square of white muslin, pick a calico backing and bring it to parent volunteers to sew it up.
3. Then came home to paint the still incomplete master bathroom. It is green. I love green. But not this green. I think I hate this green. It reminds me of the cinder block walls in my elementary schools or hospital scrubs. But it goes with the green glass mosaic tile that hubby chose and I said yes to. So now I have to live with it. But not for long because…
4. One month until I move.
5. Last night, the parents played against the kids on my son’s baseball team. Picture me in deep left field. The crack of the bat. The ball comes soaring in my direction. A high fly ball. I run to it, glove outstretched, closer, closer, “I GOT IT” I shout. Then thunk. It slides right into my glove. I wish I had a clip hear for you to see. Alas there is none. But there are witnesses.