The Top of the Roller Coaster

Shhhh! Yes, it is 4:33am. The house is quiet. This is the time I treasure, before the day's light, before conversations, before movement. Stillness. Quiet. Peace.

I like the day's light. I love conversation. I delight in the way that life flows and eddies around moments, makes memories, assigns meaning.

In this house, over the next three days, we will have an almost-constant flow of people and their stories. We will make such life-long memories. I wouldn't change a moment of the past eight years in order to be where we are today.

Coleen came and went already, as you know. So did Deborah Hopkinson. We celebrated early.

IRA has come and gone. I got dizzy with signings and sightings (the multi-publisher party was particularly amazing in its cast of characters) -- thank you so much to all of you who came out to see me and thanks to Scholastic, Harcourt, and Simon & Schuster for hosting me. The folks at S&S were particularly gracious, as my Scholastic signing was packed, we signed and chatted for an entire hour, and then folks followed me to S&S with Harcourt/Scholastic Book Fairs books for me to sign, and S&S said, Come on over.

Sold all the FREEDOM SUMMERs that S&S brought (that book has such long legs!), so I didn't feel too sheepish about teachers bringing their Scholastic books to the S&S booth as well -- it was a lovely circus.

Lots of conversations. I loved seeing old friends, loved making new ones. But it's a lot to take in, a lot to sift. Sitting in my green chair at 4:33 in the morning is an important balance to all the noise, lights, action, movement that a national convention brings.

I did get my picture taken with Indiana Jones --

-- that's Kara Bliss, Indy, me, Lisa DiSarro and Coleen Salley in a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt bonding moment.

More bonding at the HMH booth: Jen Haller, Jeannette Larson, moi, Kara Bliss and Lisa DiSarro. This was Monday morning. My camera got away from me after that.

Yesterday the first of our guests began arriving. Picked up friend Sue from the airport, Jim got Janie Kurtz, and we ordered takeout Thai food as we inaugurated Irene (the current name for the new carport room) -- we lighted candles and had supper together. Jim had to do his version of American Gothic while wearing the wedding apron Jane brought us from Indonesia.

When Jim grabbed a broom to stand in for the pitchfork, Jason decided to skedaddle. We didn't get the grocery shopping done and we didn't get the bathrooms cleaned, but we have today to get those things done, before folks start arriving. We have today to finish potting the plants and making the chili for supper and preparing tomorrow's feast.

Lots of lovely conversation last night, around this gathering-room table with the pool of light enveloping us as the darkness fell. And lots more to come today. Time to take a long, slow, deep breath... the kind of breath I ask kids to take when I'm visiting schools and say, "Put your hands in the yoga of writing...."

We're at the top of the roller coaster. Deep breath. Here we go!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.