Though we writers are surrounded by our characters, and life in our heads may be busy and even chatter-y, writing is still really a solitary activity. And we don’t know, as we are writing, if the stories we are working on will ever be found by readers.
That’s why getting out into the world and meeting those who’ve read and thought about our books seems like the best kind of celebration. And two days ago in Monticello, Iowa, we had a celebration. It was better than fireworks. It was fireworks, mental fireworks.
All the students from preschool through fourth grade had read at least some of my books and thought about them, thought about how grannies travel, farmers who take pictures of snowflakes, and endangered animals who live in a faraway place.
All day I was at least a foot off the ground with happiness–happiness that there are teachers who will take the time to talk about books with their students, that there are students who respond and get excited about books and writing, that there are dedicated people like Mary Melchert who will spend hours, days, and weeks organizing an author visit, people like Heather Hansen who took all the photos you see on this blog–as well as the ones on the website.
Some days this winter it has seemed like there’s not a lot to be grateful for, but this week I am truly grateful for all the people at the Shannon Elementary School and the Carpenter Elementary School in Monticello, Iowa.
And, did I mention the staff are also great cooks? Lunch was wonderful!