September 24, 2010
At work on a new picture-book manuscript and having fun with it. Half-expect my main character to ring the doorbell or race across the front lawn—a sign that he’s coming to life.
Helping kick off the week on an inspiring note was kidlit Pie Night on Monday evening at Pie Bakery & Cafe in Newton. Even though my writing pal Nandini and I arrived on the late side (curse rush-hour traffic!), it was well worth attending for the great conversation with other kidlitters. Thank you again, Mitali Perkins, Deborah Sloan, and Anindita Basu Sempere, for organizing!
PICTURE OF PIE WOULD GO HERE IF I HAD ONE.
PIE, HOWEVER, LONG GONE.
September 17, 2010
Lincoln, Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin’ … I’m way delinquent on this post. With apologies. As part of the One-Card Library Tour, our gang made not one, but two visits to the Lincoln Public Library in recent weeks. The first was a brief trip, about a half-hour before closing, on our way home from a field trip in a neighboring town. The kids quickly found the wonderful children’s section on the upper floor. I love that whenever we visit a library, they immediately head to the shelves, pluck something that grabs their attention, and just hang together, reading, making the new space their own.
Of course, part of the fun is also exploring the buildings we visit, and it was at the tail end of our first trip that the kids discovered the oh-so-cool YA reading room tucked into the older section. Without question, that was the first stop when we visited again for a longer stay.
Lincoln is a beautiful town, green and spacious. That sense of fresh air carries into the library. On the desk in the kids’ section is a notebook where young visitors can log why they came to the library, and their favorite book and thing to do there. Great idea. The header on the notebook pages: I <3 the Lincoln Library! And we do!
September 3, 2010
So I’m out on a walk this morning, listening to my iPod. Usually, I listen to a playlist based on my mood, but today I decided to shuffle all songs and listen to whatever came up. So I’m walking and listening and thinking—getting into that mental space that walking allows—and up comes “Martha My Dear” by the Beatles. Even though this is a song that’s sung directly to me in a sense, being that I’m a Martha, I’ve never actually loved this song. And it’s not because I’ve heard that the actual Martha was Paul McCartney’s sheepdog and I’m somehow demeaned by this (dogs are great inspiration, I know that). It’s just not one of my favorites.
So I was going to advance to the next song, but decided to really listen to the lyrics instead. And somehow in the listening, I realized that if I thought of the narrator as my writing practice, this song works as a great affirmation or call to stick with it. The opening lines:
Martha my dear,
Though I spend my days in conversation, please
Martha my love
Don’t forget me,
Martha my dear.
I was curious what song would come up next, and what if it were my writing singing to me? And here’s where it started to get fun. Up comes Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight”:
Some day, when I’m awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you …
And the way you look tonight.
Who knew my writing could croon so lovingly? Thanks, pages.
Next? Nelly Furtado’s “Undercover,” a more earnest call from my work. The chorus:
Why you got your head down
Why you looking at the ground
Shifting your eyes away
I want to talk straight
Why you wanna get away
I’m one of your games
Cause everything you say
Is old and late
I can’t get in if you keep on running
I can’t get in if your heart keeps jumping
You’ve got another lover
You’re still undercover
No, no, Writing, I swear I’m committed!
Anyway, it was a fun game and a good way to ramp up for the day. Try it.
Off now to work!