I look forward to today. Around 2,000 boys and girls will be coming to the Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks held on the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. Authors and artists who are here to visit with them include Janet Carey, JB Cheaney, Tara Dairman, Cheryl Harness, David Harrison, David Patneaude, April Henry, Antony John, Ann Ingalls, Susan Keene, Obert Sky, Marie Smith, and Brad Sneed.
We’ll meet and visit with four groups each during the day and return to campus this evening for a program and book signing. On the program for a second time will be BYRON BIGGERS BAND, a musical trio that includes Chris Craig, Gale Clithero, and me. We’ll perform half a dozen of my poems that Chris has set to music. We always have a good time. All in all, it should be a great day.
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.
Today I start pulling our tax materials together. It always takes longer than I expect or want it to. I keep most documents in a drawer all year to make the process easier but nothing is ever easy when dealing with our dear uncle.
I’ll work a while this morning because yesterday I received the edits on a poetry manuscript that I’ve been expecting and I want some time alone with it. That makes two in hand with a third due any day. These are all high priorities so the poetry chapter will go back in the drawer for a while. It isn’t due yet so that’s okay. Now that I know how I’m going to approach it, I’m not worried.
I don’t have much time anyway between now and Sunday when I leave for Warrensburg and the Children’s Literature Festival, one of the highlights in every year.
This will be my last day to write until next Wednesday. I rarely get anything done on the weekend and on Monday we head for home, a two day drive. This morning there’s no wind but the forecast calls for showers. We haven’t walked the beach much but hope to between showers over the next three days. The water has been rough most of this week.
Today I’ll focus on the poetry chapter. I have a long way to go there but hope to have enough down before we get away to think about during the 14-hour drive home.
One week from Monday I’ll drive to Warrensburg, Missouri to be in the annual Children’s Literature Festival so I’m looking forward to that. Some years 6,000 or more students attend that along with 1,200 or so adults. Then it will suddenly be April and that’s shaping up to be a busy month.