take up your happiness

Some thoughts about life, love and happiness, after a few photos from the past two weeks of research, writing, organizing my work (on a chalk wall, no less), a couple of close-by field trips, a book festival (that's my editor, David Levithan, talking with shiny new (amazing) author Will Walton), a bit of teaching, a lot of home-making, a birthday cobbler, some celebrating, lots of gathering with peeps, and the inevitable bringing-in the last of the garden.



When I was a kid, I wanted to be a mom more than anything else. I wanted to sit at a desk and play office. I wanted to scribble on a chalkboard and teach my dolls things I didn't understand yet myself. I wanted to lie on a blanket in the clovered grass, stare at the night sky, and wonder. I wanted true friends. I wanted to keep house. And I wanted a Prince Charming to come into my life, sweep me off my feet, and love me all the days of my life, and make me happy.

I got all my wishes, in an odd and amazing order that still takes my breath away when I think about it. How perfect it has been, the grime and the glory alike. How lucky that my people are in my life, and that this life is full of good work that I love, and that there is space for wondering and dreaming, still, and that people love me and I love them, and that there really IS someone to sweep me along with devotion, into the later chapters of my life.

Slowly, slowly, I have come to understand, in a deep and steady way, that home is where you make it; that people are complex, nuanced, textured, wonderful puzzles; that work is like that, too; that Uncle Edisto's messy glory is indeed the way we live; and that I am responsible for my own happiness.

Rise up, I say to myself this morning. Rise. Take up your happiness and walk into the days ahead.

back to work

"Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what one is saying." -- John Updike.

I've got notes (once again) from a new-to-me editor at Scholastic, Ken Geist, on a picture book I've sold about Bobby Kennedy. It's exciting to work with a new editor -- David L. is a wonderful novel editor, and now Ken steps in to work on picture books with me, and I am so glad.

So today's work is about looking at these notes and writing a response to them, and then, we hope, talking next week before I head to the D.C. area for my first school visit this fall, combined with some family time. We drive to Charleston on Sunday, to celebrate Jim's birthday with his mom and sister... I am going to write in the car. Watch me do this daring feat of amazing car writing, just watch me.

In the meantime, I have these revisions this morning, a house to clean, a class to teach tomorrow at the Atlanta-Fulton County library, a birthday dinner here on Saturday night, my favorite 4-year-old spending the night on Saturday night, and then we're off to Charleston. And... it's all what I want, in this Year of Exploration. It's all good.

how I'm feeling today

Choice is important. Intent matters. Authentic power is within. Truth is beautiful.

Peace, my friends. Always peace.