debbie's big adventure (the snowy days)

I flew into JFK in February knowing it was cold. I took public transportation from the airport to Great Neck, which took three train changes and about three hours. I saw Brenda Bowen on the train platform in Jamaica and we were both so frozen it took minutes (and boarding the next train) before it registered that that was really her. We wrote to each other later, "I thought I recognized that smile!"

I had come to New York to work at Great Neck South Middle School and to visit my Scholastic peeps and put REVOLUTION to bed bed BED, and I knew it was going to snow while I was there. I didn't understand that it was going to ice in Atlanta, and I wouldn't be able to get home for days, and I wouldn't be able to get out of NYC. Here's the story:

"Over there, ma'am! Over there! Get on the next train over there!"
Unthawing in my hotel room.
Great Neck South Middle School peeps. Principal Jim Welsch, librarian Catherine Graybosch, and 6th-grade teacher Gabe Carras.
Breakfast with teachers.

They all brought their notebooks and I put them to work.
Cotton Candy for dessert, dinner with teachers

From Great Neck to Manhattan on the LIRR.
David Levithan with hair. Lots of hair. John, George, Paul, or Ringo? "Brian Epstein," he says.
I think this should be Phil Falco's official portrait. Phil as Beatle. Phil designed REVOLUTION -- thank you, thank you, Phil.
Good sports. That's publicist Emma Brockway, Erin Black, and David Levithan, who is probably saying, "Don't take that picture!"
The sign says, "I am Brian Epstein." And they are the fab four. Erin Black (permissions work extraordinaire, not to mention so much else); David Levithan, who read and edited this book with me a dozen times at least; Phil Falco, who designed it from the stills and snippets I chose; Emma Brockway, who is REVOLUTION's publicist -- yay!
Antonio Gonzales, who handles school visits for Scholastic authors; me; Candace Greene, conference goddess; and Emily Heddleston, also conference goddess (we have lots of Warrior Women at Scholastic)
Going through page proofs with editor David
Heading out of town -- going north -- before NYC's big snow that evening, as I can't get home to ATL -- they are iced in.
The train was packed with people getting out of town and away from the coming storm.
Sitting at Nancy's kitchen table and talking all things books and catching up -- an unexpected treat, to be in Boston with friends while the snow and ice swirls everywhere else. Boston got a dusting.
Finally heading home.

What I loved about Great Neck South Middle School: the entire school was involved in the day, including the principal and teachers, and we concentrated on COUNTDOWN and did such good work together, writing and telling stories.

What I loved about the day at Scholastic: Beatles wigs. David and Phil with hair. Antonio with more hair. The spirit of camaraderie of the day. The hard work of going through every page of REVOLUTION, and doing it together. The kindness and consideration of everyone at Scholastic who made sure I didn't get stranded in New York City with the coming snow.

Scholastic got me out of New York that evening, on another train, to Boston, where I stayed with good friends, Nancy Werlin and Jim McCoy, for two more days, until the ice thawed in Atlanta and I could get home. It was Valentine's Day evening, as I landed in ATL. Jim and I went to the Galaxy Diner to celebrate - ha! Later, the warmth from my fireplace never felt so good. I sat in the pink chair and relived the fabulous adventure -- it really was a great good time -- and dreamed about spring.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Debbie, I was so thrilled to meet you (if only fleetingly) at ALA Las Vegas. Wow. "Good garden of peas," I am one of your biggest fans.

    Sending a big, warm hug to you and great thanks for all you do for children.

    Sharon Lovejoy


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