This introvert is taking a much-needed day of silence…yet as I walked around the park this morning, baseball cap tipped against the blowing snow, I marveled at the kindness of others. I did three “meet the author” presentations this week, and every time I left a school, I said a prayer of thanks for the Brooklyn Public Library. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share my work with so many students and educators—eight schools altogether, with one hundred students in the audience each time. On Monday the assistant principal in Sunset Park worked tirelessly to get me the equipment I needed for my powerpoint presentation, and then sat at the laptop herself and advanced the slides so I was free to interact with the students. On Wednesday I arrived at the school in Spring Creek and two members of the book club were waiting at the door, cameras poised to capture the moment. After my talk the librarian and parent coordinators hosted a nice reception that included *quite* a spread—and I got a call later asking me about how to order books for the school. Yesterday I was in a new school with a stunning auditorium, and the librarian filled it with a range of students—some top performing classes, some special ed. classes, some kids with special needs–and she, too, sat at the laptop so I was free to move around. Afterward as many teachers as students came up to thank me for my talk and to express interest in Ship of Souls. Those kind of moments always make me thankful for my early years in Canada—the warmth and openness of Americans wouldn’t mean so much to me if I didn’t come from a culture that’s markedly different.
Back at my job, my students were understanding when I had to rearrange our class schedule on Tuesday to accommodate a radio interview with Pia Lindstrom; I’m not sure whether we taped a twenty- or thirty-minute segment because the time flew by and I got to talk about SoS, my belief in magic, my love of history, and I even squeezed in a quote by Audre Lorde (whose essay I’d taught earlier that morning).
Now I have to turn my attention back to my conference paper for France. I found a grant that might help to pay for some of the expenses, but I need to submit the conference program and I can’t ask for that when the organizers are still waiting on my overdue paper…time to make the most of this day of silence—time to write.