I’m in the process of reading more than a thousand notes that came in around the time of my surgery. I feel awful about missing so many wonderful thoughts and more than a few queries that have gone unanswered. If you are one who wondered why I never responded, a thousand pardons.
The picture you see warmed my heart when I was here instead of there in Warrensburg with my friends and all those kids. Around this table of smiling faces you are looking at an enormous pool of talent. Some of the finest writers and illustrators in America are lifting a glass to cheer me, and it worked! Thank you, my friends.
I’ll move on from all this tomorrow, but today I absolutely must share these two beautiful girls who attended. The first is Hannah the daughter of Sandy’s cousin, Leslie Johnson. Thank you Leslie for giving me permission.
The second charming miss is Madelynn, who reads like a dream and has wowed me on two previous occasions. I was looking forward to seeing her again. I felt as sad as she looks. Thank you, Sandy D’Angelo Hutchinson, for the permission.
REVERSAL: Not the man I thought I was. Packed and ready. Had difficulty standing to shave. Walking like an old man. I couldn’t give the kids what they deserve. I just notified the festival director that I can’t answer the bell. I feel dreadful for her sake.
Be back Tuesday. For now, I’m packing and headed for the road.
This morning I think I can attend to the final rewrites on a manuscript of poems that I started working on quite some time ago. There might be few final tweaks ahead but basically the job is done and I’m about to feel the bittersweet pleasure of clicking “send” and releasing my work into the hands of other parties.
Yesterday I received a revised contract for a social studies book I’m doing with Tim Rasinski for which I wrote sixty poems. There’s still some work to do on that one but I think my part is finished or close to it. Now the way is about clear to focus on a rather long book project with Mary Jo Fresch. We’re winding up chapter two for a 10,000 word proposal. Once that’s done, I have a picture book idea I want to try.
At 10:00 this morning I get to start Day Two of this 47th Children’s Literature Festival by meeting my first of four groups of students. Yesterday passed quickly. I’m sure that today will too.