The past three weeks -- has it been three weeks already? Yes, it has -- the past three weeks I've moved along like a swimmer underwater, in a surreal place "in between." Between one life and another, although of course I am still living the same life. But... it's different, somehow, knowing that my girl is graduated, there is no more tuition, no more financial aid, no more lots of things... but brand-new other things, such as these novels I'm writing for Scholastic that are getting some good attention from me, finally. It's amazing to think of months ahead of me -- months! -- to sit down every morning with the next story and just... write. What a treat. In the meantime, I have finished up spring travels, which held lots of treats of a different kind. Here are lots of catch-up photos, all taken in the past three weeks.
Went to Gainesville, Georgia and worked with my good friends at Scholastic Book Fairs, got to meet fabulous Hall County teachers -- here we are, gathered together after a high tea we all attended. Thank you, teachers, and thank you, SBFs -- such a pleasure whenever I get to work with y'all.
Met Joe Davich of Georgia Center for the Book, and friend Elizabeth Dulemba at Little Shop of Stories in nearby Decatur, at ArtWalk, and the opening of the exhibit of original art by local children's book illustrators.
Lots of good work in Columbia, Missouri, with 1200 fourth- and fifth-graders and their teachers and parents.
Four local school visits. This was my lunch one day:
And these were some of my lunchmates, at E.J. Swint Elementary School in Jonesboro, GA:
Sharing FREEDOM SUMMER:
I had a blast at E.J. Swint -- wonderful students, well-prepared by their teachers and by Trish Vlastnik, Media Specialist Extraordinaire. Thanks to all of you for the special day.
I've been home now for a week, sitting around in a fog, recovering, readjusting, realigning myself for summer.
Now, lunch looks like this:
And the landscape of daily life changes.
Here are two baby bunnies that Cleebo brought to the back door. He wanted to keep them. We found a wildlife rehabilitator to take care of them until they are old enough to be released on their own.
Here's Gus the cat, recovering from the May 10 party.
Jim Williams and Stoney Vance have returned. Now they are renovating the basement, to give us a studio for husband Jim and his music.
Found this '50s couch at Kudzu; it will go in Jim's new studio.
This is my studio now...
Birthday Boy -- today is son Jason's 34th birthday. Happy Birthday, Jason.
And this girl? Here's the graduate. She's got a history degree with a minor in art history. She will help me research this summer, as I work forward on the Sixties Trilogy. I have her attention until June 14, when she goes to work for the Obama campaign here in Georgia. Oh, to be 22 and in love with the world of possibilities! This is good.
Well, I'm 55 and in love with the world of possibilities -- this is good, too.
I'm a bit like Gus the cat, still recovering from April and May -- maybe that's why there is that underwater feel to the days now. I can feel some energy seeping in around the edges of my weariness. It's good writing energy -- I will need it in the days and weeks and months to come. Where is my notebook?