Friday, March 12, 2010

Off to Warrensburg, Missouri

So I DID get up at 3:30, and I finished ALMOST all of the papers - I finished all the papers that came in on time, and timely return of the on-time papers is about all that can be expected of me, don't you think?

My reward: tomorrow I leave for Warrensburg, Missouri, to attend the annual children's literature festival sponsored by Central Missouri State University. It is bliss. It's puzzling that it's bliss, because we work hard, for days, for very little pay, and Warrensburg, Missouri, is hardly a thrilling metropolis. But bliss it is: over 40 (!) authors and illustrators from all over the country, including a concentration of Missouri's finest, and thousands of school children bused in from anywhere within a hundred mile radius (or more). Each author gives four talks a day; each child attends four or five talks a day. And the rest of the time, the authors talk - incessantly - to one another.

Although there are always a few new faces, the majority of the authors attend every year, so we have become once a year festival friends, eager to bring each other up to date on everything that has transpired in the year gone by. We walk for hours, walk for miles and miles, past silos and cows, talking, talking, talking. And then we talk some more. We also have an annual shoe-buying extravaganza at an old-fashioned shoe store on Warrensburg's main drag, which hosts a party in our honor. After the shoe-buying party, we go to the bar at Heroes, and order the Unknown Hero. And then we talk still more.

Sometimes I think that as much as I love the writing itself, I love the company of fellow writers. I love just being part of the world of people who write, and read, and love children's books. I love it so much!

And I'm heading there tomorrow.


  1. Sounds *fabulous*. I hope you have a great time. Your other life sounds so appealing.

  2. I think I did that when it was in Kirksville! Same one? Loved it; wonderful kids. They're so lucky to have you. Have a great time! SW