For author visits. (To talk about my Christmas book)
Got one tomorrow. (Because Christmas is near)
I'll be sharing and talking with fourth graders about my writing process...and my book.
I've been to several schools this season, each offering an experience so delightful I almost feel like going back to my first career love, teaching. (Almost!) I miss the children, their joy and curiosity, even their crazy, out of context questions. I miss eating in the lunchroom where a bit of reality is served up daily. I miss watching the light bulb moments when a child understands a concept we've gone over and over and over and then ka-boom, he gets it.
Last week I went to a school in a nearby county. The fifth graders had prepared welcome signs that were displayed in the hall. I read every one and I signed a thank you note on each poster. What fun. These children had visited me before I ever arrived...imagine that. They had gone to my webpage during computer lab class and read through it as a lesson. They played with my interactive page where I reveal my messy desk and the tools I use as I write. Check it out here. There's a hidden gem in the picture, so see if you can find it.
By the time I walked into the gym, those students were ready to visit as old friends. I was ready for them and they were ready for me.
Advice to other authors, be prepared. Take a water bottle just in case. Dress in layers. I visited in classrooms in a school where I was cold in one room and burned up in another, depending on how far away from the ancient heater the room was. Be familiar with the writing objectives the teachers are required to follow because this is your chance to reinforce them. You are the example they will use the next time they teach a concept. Most of all, enjoy the day and appreciate the privilege of meeting readers up close and personal.
Catch of the day,