It’s funny how I tell myself stories, you know. Narrate life in my head. Driving home this evening in the semi-darkness, in the single-digit temperatures, coasting down the steep hill where I hit a deer on my thirty-third birthday (so long ago, but the story is there every year when it draws close to my birthday, and I reflect on my most auspicious year, 33…), I told myself a story about how good life is.
For the first semester of the school year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a creative and motivating group of student book bloggers — last quarter twenty-six middle schoolers signed up to be in my elective class. We spent the last forty minutes of the day together three days a week, and they posted book- and writing-related content daily at In the Middle (of a Good Book). After school during the month of November, a talented group of sixth through eighth graders (and one of my language arts teacher friends!) stayed after school in my classroom on Monday evenings. We opened our laptops and tried to write a novel, NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program-style. On our final night, we shared pizza and our stories. We made the decision to keep meeting, to expand to a creative writing club. This semester, I get to teach an elective class dedicated to the Harry Potter series with a super group that loves the books as much as I do (and more!) We had a terrific sorting ceremony yesterday, and I have to admit that it was almost as exciting to be reading the role of the Sorting Hat as it would be to actually find myself at Hogwarts. Even if the kids keep trying to run through my door, where I’ve hung a Platform 9 3/4 poster. In the middle of all this creative energy, I got my first paid author visit gig! Life is good.
Over my break, I edited my Fall 2013 book, Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always, and sent the manuscript back to my awesome editor, Brian Farrey-Latz at flux, with a smile. Only days ago, I got a sneak peek at the beautiful cover…it made me cry with giddy glee in the middle of the school day! I can’t wait to be able to show everyone. I’m so excited about this book.
Driving down the hill in the dark, I tell myself how far this book has come, how far I have come, since that birthday almost four years ago, in my most auspicious year.
I hope your January is amazing. Wish me luck with the deer next week?