our regularly scheduled program

Home, friends. I am home. There's no place like it, and I'm glad to be here. Thanks for coming to the low country with me. I had no words last week, but I loved reading yours. Thanks for all the lovely mail. I savored every word.
And now... a return to our regularly scheduled program. I have breakfast with my editor this morning (Sunday). He's here for the Decatur Book Festival, so we will take some time to be together this morning, to meet face-to-face for the first time, and start getting to know one another in person.

If you've been reading One Pomegranate, you'll know that I lost my long time, beloved editor, Liz Van Doren, in early 2007 -- a devastating blow. We had worked together for 12 years. Over time, we had learned to complete each other's sentences as we talked about stories. We challenged each other. We made good books together.

Kate Harrison became my editor at that time. Within the year, she left Harcourt for Dial/Penguin, and I landed at Scholastic with Kara La Reau and David Levithan. The plan was that I would work on the first of the sixties trilogy with Kara, but eight months later, Kara was laid off, just as I was nearing the home stretch of a complete draft of book one.

David and I began working together less than a year ago. In that time I finished the draft, finished another, and another, and have gotten to know David through phone calls and email. He's a good editor. I don't know him well yet; we are learning to work with each other, and I understand that good working relationships take time and trust. It's not necessary for us to become friends, although that would be nice, but we are already colleagues in book making, and I am delighted by that.

At any rate, it will be good to have met face-to-face as we come into the home stretch of putting this novel to bed. There are a million things to talk about, to ask about, to learn. And to share. Many of them have nothing to do with books. I'm looking forward to breakfast. It's good to be home.

As for Charleston: we'll be back. It was good. Very good. And... I have a prompt for you (and your students):

Take a digital camera with you and take photos on a given day of objects that tug at your heart. Don't think too hard about why they tug, just trust your gut. Take as many photos as you want.

Then, take a look at your photos and select the four or five that can tell a story of that day in one word. That one word will be a theme, if you will. Let that one word title and those photos help you tell a story wordlessly. Let them evoke a memory, an emotion, a mood, a narrative. See what you come up with. You can use my posts from last week as a model or guide. This should be creative and fun -- and full of good ways to think about story.

I'd love to see what you come up with. It could be a notebook exercise. The photos, printed on computer or photo-quality paper, could be pasted into your notebook with your one word as a heading. (Conversely, if you are keeping a blog as scrapbook (One Pom is part scrapbook), you can easily construct this as a blog entry.)

So. Personal narrative in photos. I'd love to hear the discussion this engenders, too, and the ways that you adapt it for your own purposes.

And now: What to wear to brunch? It always comes down to the practical considerations, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the writing prompt - I will e-mail it to my teachers - I have a few that will love the idea!
    I saw David yesterday at his session at the DBF - I love his books and he reminds me of someone I went to college with - enjoy your Brunch!!


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