Looking for Authors of What I’ve Learned So Far

Hi everyone,

The date is set. On the evening of August 11, 2023, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the book, WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR.

This was one of my all-time favorite projects. With the full support of our public school system, I formed a committee of more than fifteen teachers and we asked the district’s 24,000 students Prek-12 and 2,400 staff members to finish the prompt, “What I’ve learned so far is…

More than 12,000 students and staff responded. My committee and I pared the contributions down to 1,100. After students illustrated the book, I had it printed in Cassville, Missouri, got it copyrighted, registered it with the Library of Congress, obtained an ISBN number, and we started selling our masterpiece. It was by every measurement a runaway success.

I’ll tell you more about the book and how we marketed and celebrated it when we get closer to the upcoming event. I will mention now that I quoted from the book in commencement speeches at Missouri State University and Drury University. I called the talk, “Never Go Camping with One Pack of Hotdogs.” You can read it on my website at http://davidlharrison.com . Go to VISITS and click on the picture of me speaking.

For now the focus is on finding authors and illustrators of the original book. The youngest author, 4-years-old then, will turn 34 next year. The oldest, then, was 18. Between now and August we want to reach as many as possible of those 1,100 contributors to WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR and invite them to the party to celebrate their achievement. If you are one of them, or know someone who was, it’s not too soon to make plans to attend. It promises to be a milestone event!

Never Go Camping with One Pack of Hotdogs

Hi everyone,

Thanks to FRANK SHIPE for posting yesterday a picture of me in 2008, receiving an honorary doctorate of letters from Drury University. You can read my commencement speech by going to my website at http://davidlharrison.com. Go to “Visits” and click on my picture. I named talk, “Never Go Camping with One Pack of Hotdogs.”

Now it’s head down for several months

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Evan Robb for hosting Laura Robb and me yesterday evening as we talked about our new book, GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH. Here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/evanrobbprincipal .
And here’s the link to my reading aloud from AFTER DARK, which is currently available on the Drury University website: http://www.Drury.edu/read.

Yesterday we (Tim Rasinski, Mary Jo Fresch, and I) agreed to terms with Scholastic Teacher Resources to write two books in time for publication early in 2022. For my part it means an enormous amount of work with deadlines of June 1 for the first manuscript and July 1 for the second. If I didn’t have anything else to do, this would be close to impossible so let’s say I’m delighted and concerned.

I’m afraid I’ll need to sharply curtail my blog posts for a while. On average I spend an hour each morning to post something new and believe me I’m going to need those twenty hours a month for a while. I may need to post once or twice a week, or maybe just when something new happens, until I see how the new work is going to progress. I hope you’ll understand and bear with me.

Couple of things

Hi everyone,
One is that Jane Yolen is celebrating her 400th published book and is being celebrated by fans everywhere. Here’s the link to one of the articles coming out. https://www.masslive.com/entertainment/2021/02/prolific-childrens-author-jane-yolen-readies-400th-book.html?fbclid=IwAR31IWUgI2qE-gp47NabavYFiiH7Xpw_UWcQxHmSNNUTEALb4qNyYsS3lRc
Way to go, Jane. Did someone say you’re thinking 500 is in your future? I just hope I sell one more!

The other item is that I was asked this year to participate in Drury University’s “Match Madness” fund raiser by making a 10 minute video reading from AFTER DARK. It is now posted sometime. If you have young ones in the family or classroom, I hope you’ll check out the site at http://www.Drury.edu/read.

Guess I’ll get a haircut today

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I visited by phone with Judy Thompson, Executive Vice President of Development and Campaign Director at Drury University. Judy has been a friend from all the way back to our days as Drury students. She was Sandy’s pledge daughter in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Coming up shortly is a major fund raiser Drury is calling Match Madness so Judy and her team are hard at work planning ways to engage alums and others who might contribute toward the campaign. The request for my help was to film me reading one of my books. Since I’m currently too far away to go to the Drury recording studios, I agreed to make a video and send it to them. I’ll try to make it today because timely is critical.

I desperately need a haircut so today when the shops open, I’ll get myself more presentable. For the video I could read my most recent book of poems, AFTER DARK, which came out last year. But I want to think about this. As Drury’s poet laureate, maybe I should pick a selection from several sources to read. Something I’ll need to decide over the next few hours. Straightening my work space? Hey, it will still be there tomorrow, right? My friend and fellow writer Bill Anderson says one of the best parts of being a writer is that almost everyday some new surprise comes up to keep the game interesting. This, I think, is a good example.