Two years and six months ago I posted something called Still seeking research stories. Here’s the link: https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/still-seeking-research-stories/#comment-25320 . Jane Yolen’s response triggered a long standing request from my son Jeff Harrison that I write a story about a tiger for him. He was probably under ten when he asked me. So I responded with an opening line and Jane added a first page, and I added, and she added, etc.
At some point Jane and I went offline to talk about the book we’d just started and we went from there to finish it. Yesterday we learned that we’re about to receive an offer to publish the story as a picture book. What great fun. And it all started here.
Lotta cactus out west. Here’s the setting for a story I’m working on. I’d seen it in pictures but needed to fly out there, rent a car, and go see it for myself. I picked up new information that will greatly enhance the final telling.
For Christmas Jeff and Jennifer gave me a steel utility cart, just the thing to cut down on my trips each spring and winter carrying more than three dozen chair cushions, umbrellas, pots and planters, bird baths, concrete pottery, metal sculptures, etc. to and from the patio and garage. Here’s my new beauty.
Ruth Culham says I need a name for my wagon and I got a C- in Wagon Naming for Dummies when I was in school. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have to help me make Ruth happy. After all, she’s a good friend and I don’t want to start 2017 hurting anyone’s feelings.
When Kent Brown published my first book of poetry — SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK — in 1993, he followed up by sending me a box of note cards with Betsy Lewin’s art on the cover as well as a cooking apron also decorated with her work.
I sent the last of the cards long ago but after all these twenty-three years I remain the proud owner of the apron and wear it from time to time when I’m grilling.
Over the holidays our son Jeff Harrison was cooking and needed an apron to protect his sweater. Out came the treasured apron and my camera. So here we have the second generation preserving good memories made possible by an old friend and one of the best publishers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.