BULLETIN: Hey look at me! I meant to show you earlier but forgot. I can’t vouch for the rest of me, but my feet are awesome!
Each day my blog stats indicate which of the previous 2,245 posts are being visited in addition to the one I just put up. Generally folks from several countries stop by and look up something or merely browse for a while. Yesterday’s list of previous posts included my school dedication pictures and speech, adult W.O.M. poems, poems for two voices, information about me, talks and school visits, young poets W.O.M. poems, poetry tips, and an assortment of other subjects. The most popular among them was the dedication speech, which dates to August 26, 2009. Here’s a direct link if anyone else is interested.
I’m always reminded, when I too look back at the early days of this blog, how many things we tried. I interviewed more people then, had more contests, posted more ballots, wrote more writing tips. Now? Most mornings I pour the coffee, turn on the light, sit down, and let the day begin. You may not be getting your money’s worth anymore, if you ever did. But more then 2,700 say they follow me so for that I’m grateful and I apologize for those mornings when about all I have to offer is, “Hi everyone.”
I was feeling sly yesterday, thinking I would pre-post something for today so I wouldn’t have to wake up and stare at this keyboard and wonder what on earth to talk about. I did a whole riff on being late taking down the holiday decorations, which I was finally getting around to, but it was trite so I deleted it and decided I work better under pressure. At 3:30 I tried a second time to amuse or inform or just walk along beside you for a while today. Thank you for joining me.
Lately we’ve talked about quite a few things and I’ve enjoyed them all. By nature, believe it or not, I treasure silence. I love people but don’t necessarily need to keep up a constant chatter. Sometimes, especially among good friends, it’s just nice to be close, share the moment, and not say anything.
Please join me, think your own thoughts while I think mine. Thanks.
DAY TWO: It never fails. One day is never enough. If you’ve been here, come back. If you didn’t make it yesterday, here’s your chance. It’s going to be another great day!
It’s party time! The original virtual party in June 2015 came at the encouragement of poets Joy Acey and Matt Forrest. I held it in our back yard here at Goose Lake. We partied on for three days!
Later in the year another friend, Sara Johnson, Director of Educational Marketing at Shell Education, suggested that I throw a holiday party. That happened last year on December 17 and we had another great turnout. Ditto the third party in June of this year. And now, at the nudging of teacher Susan Hutchens, here we are with our fourth celebration.
Welcome to all. If you have jackets, toss them on the bed down the hall. Make yourselves at home. We have plenty of chairs and places to perch. You can also sit on the floor or the hearth. The carpet’s newish and the candles won’t burn you so move them aside.
The kitchen is through the dining room. The counter is marble so heat won’t hurt it. You don’t need to bring anything but I suppose some holiday tidbits or perhaps a drop or two of something festive would be appreciated by all.
Thank you for taking time to be here and share in the pleasure of one another’s company. Most of us talk back and forth all year but we’re rarely all together at one time. I don’t know who will show up today but if you have a specific question for anyone in particular, I’ll do my best to get it to him or her. Some of you may be meeting for the first time. If you have something you’d like to mention, such as an exciting activity, an award, your 2017 aspirations, or a new book coming out, let us know. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with bragging on your kids/grandkids or sharing a poem if you’re brave enough to stand up and present it. This IS a party after all!
So come early, drink deep from the cup of friendship, and stay as long as you like. Spread the word far and wide. Tell your friends and tell them to tell their friends. Let’s do it!
As Sandy Asher and I have discussed, there being five Tuesdays this month gives us a chance to add a 5th post to the November WRITERS AT WORK series, “Loving Libraries.” We’ve invited blog visitors to pitch in some of their own experiences and we’re delighted to feature them today. With thanks to our contributors, here we go.
Although my first real job (not counting babysitting) as a teen was working Saturdays at the county library, my big library experience started when I was a mother and took my boys to story hour on Wednesday mornings. Of course, the other mothers were readers or they wouldn’t have corralled their kids and hauled them to story hour. Through three moves to three different towns, I took the boys to story hour. In each library, I met women who became lifelong friends.
Veda Boyd Jones
The Ranger’s Christmas Treasure
That Sunday Afternoon
Hey, David and Sandy — here’s my library story:
Back in my days as a children’s librarian, a girl about 12 asked me if the library had a copy of The Jellyfish Season. As I led her to the shelf, I wondered if I should tell her I wrote it. I handed it to her, took a deep breath, and asked her if she knew it was my book. Looking me in the eye, she said, “I thought it was the library’s book.” Already sensing I’d made a mistake, I told her I meant I’d written it. She stared at my library name tag and said, “Your name is Mary Jacob. The writer’s name is Mary Downing Hahn.” She held up the book and pointed to my name on the cover. “Well, yes,” I said, “but I remarried and my last name changed to Jacob.” Giving me a look that clearly said she wasn’t born yesterday, the girl walked away, leaving me to wonder why I felt compelled to tell a 12 year old stranger my marital history. After that, I never told any kids I was the writer of a book they’d chosen. This turned out to be good decision the day a boy asked about Wait Till Helen Comes. When I started to tell him the plot, he said, “Oh, yeah, I read this book, but you’ve got it all wrong.” As I stood there listening to him tell me about my own book, I was very glad my name tag said Mary Jacob.
Mary Downing Hahn
I have been involved with the Baxter County Library (1999-2016), then continued when the new Donald W. Reynolds Library was built in Mountain Home, Arkansas. I was a member of the Friends of the Library (FOL), hostess, and served as a board member. I have helped for several years with the FOL yearly auction, book sales, as a volunteer elsewhere when needed, helped bring authors and illustrators in the children’s library, and sometimes performed as photographer. The library supported my different writers groups and the yearly “Holiday Authors Book Sale.” I have spent a lot of time at this library and if I had my way I would live at it and be one happy camper.
Mary Nida Smith
I was visiting a school in Evansville, IN and a little boy was crying outside the library. When I asked the librarian what was wrong she told me he was upset because Eddie, Melody, Liza, and Howie were not visiting. He had been expecting the characters from the Bailey School Kids series-not one of the authors. It really brought home to me how beloved story characters can be and how important our stories can be to children.
Debbie Dadey is the author and co-author of 162 books, including The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series and Mermaid Tales
Our thanks again to today’s contributors to WRITERS AT WORK. Sandy will add your post to our ongoing and growing portfolio so be sure to look for this series and all the previous Writers at Work conversations at http://usawrites4kids.blogpost.com.
All the best,