Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home for a Few Hours

I'm back from my blissful day with the children at Chapel Hill Elementary. I spent the whole day with a group of some 35 children who had earned the privilege of "lunch with the author" by reading books, writing book reports, and generally demonstrating that this opportunity meant a lot to them. So I had an audience of extremely motivated fourth and fifth graders.

It was a busy day. I presented my standard author talk, complete with finale of the ape dance. I led a writing workshop on the theme of "show, don't tell," complete with performances from willing children who mimed the emotions of shame, joyful pride, and anger, so we could decide how best to describe these in our writing without labeling them explicitly. And I showed a PowerPoint of photos of my childhood, of writing-related trips, and of illustrations from my books.

The very best part of the day, though, was waking up in April's guest room at 6 a.m. and then writing a chapter of my book while listening to her play her original compositions on the piano in the other room - it was like being in our little artists' colony of two. And second best was writing my poem for the day on the plane coming home.

Now tomorrow I'm leaving before dawn for a spur-of-the-moment getaway to Taos and Santa Fe with a friend. I'm doing laundry and packing up my writing projects. I feel some poems coming on...

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