A writer’s surprise

Hi everyone,

When Bill Anderson came through Springfield the other day and we were visiting, one of the points he made was that writers are blessed almost daily with surprises. Someone sends a touching fan note. A request comes in for permission to reprint something. A new idea smacks us on the forehead. It doesn’t have to be a big surprise to brighten the day.

I’ve thought about Bill’s comment several times since then. He’s right. The surprises are like adrenalin in my system. They perk me up, recharge me, lift my spirits, remind me why I do what I do each day, even on mornings when what I really want to do is sleep in.

Example: Yesterday Su Hutchens sent me two poems from a second grade class she was teaching. All the kids wrote poems, then they selected two for me. I read them with a smile and promptly wrote a poem for them. The whole exchange was brief, but what a delightful surprise!

And if that weren’t surprise enough for the day, a friend sent a picture of his little boy, David, at the moment he opened an envelope addressed to him that contained a book of mine. It was a gift from my son, Jeff.

On days when it’s hard to smile, a child’s picture shows up or students send poems, and I’m reminded of the perks of being a writer.


13 comments on “A writer’s surprise

  1. Thank you for reading the student poems and for writing a poem just for them. Your kindness is priceless! Because of your communication, there just might be a future poet or two in that classroom. At the very least, there’s a room full of kids who think poetry is great!

    • You’re welcome, dear Su, but the way I see it, I wasn’t the one who introduced them to writing poems. You were. I thank you.

  2. Thank you! And I just had a thought. Wouldn’t it be fun to put a “formula poem” on your blog (like the kids wrote yesterday) and see how your readers/friends would complete them?

    • Isn’t it? I love the picture. David is holding a copy of WAKE UP, SUN! which has been in print since 1986 and is now in its 72nd printing.

  3. Perks

    The child’s smile.
    Silence when the story is read.
    Tucking into the
    sweet-smelling bed.

    Quick up take of breath,
    a moment’s laughter,
    And the “Read me another story,”

    ©2017 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

    • Perks 2

      Book in hand,
      eyes bright,
      sweet-breath plead
      for a read goodnight.

      Eyes gone dreamy,
      drifting away
      to savor sleep
      till a new book day.

      (c) David L. Harrison

      • Maybe we should try a picture about fourteen book day Wake up. Read at table trip to library, read with sitter ( grandmother, in jpark, lunch, afternoons kindergarten, tea with best friend, dad edreads in car, bath book, bed

        Sent from my iPhone


  4. Writing is full of surprises, joy and closure. I received a message last night that my book, A Gentle Sun Coming is on display at Barnes and Noble
    in the W section. I gave up sleeping just to take full advantage of the surprise and joy.

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