I would like to say for the record that I am not a workaholic. Even though I am posting this on Thanksgiving morning, I am not crazy. We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday so that various offspring could climb over to other branches on the family tree today. BH and I and the kids were going to get up early to run in a Turkey Trot 5K, but it is sleeting and snowing and the fire is warm. We’ll run later, when it isn’t life-threatening.
So I am bloated on pie and mashed potatoes made with an alarming amount of butter and the only thing I am capable of is blogging.
A couple observations about Manhattan:
1. Some of the new signs indicating the bike path through Central Park have a helmet painted on the head of the stick figure. They made me giggle.
2. Every third person in Manhattan now owns a dog that is the size of a loaf of bread.
3. There are halal food vendors on the street. (God, I love this country.)
4. Pigeons make a great sound with that first swoooosh of their wings.
5. I had one celebrity sighting: Camille Paglia on 58th Street. At least, I am pretty sure it was Camille Paglia. When I was running in Central Park, I saw a woman who was Gilda Radner’s doppelganger. Obviously, it wasn’t Gilda, unless she has taken to haunting Central Park.
A number of other authors and teachers blogged about the festivities: Jen Robinson, Susane Colasanti, She Who Knows Most Everything Teri Lesesne (who has posted Powerpoint presentations with terrific book recommendations), Jo Knowles, David Lubar, Linda Sue Park, Cecil Castellucci, and Sara Ryan. (Did I miss anyone?)
Highlights of the trip for me:
1. Meeting hundreds of friendly, kind, generous teachers who took the time to tell me about their experiences sharing my books with their students. And seeing the many teachers and professors who have become my friends. I am so very thankful for all of them.
2. Listening to the performances of the incredibly talented poets from Urban Word NYC.
3. Learning to identify Garret Freymann-Weyr, Ann Angel, and Jo Knowles. I am really bummed that I didn’t get a chance to have coffee or wine or pastries with them. Maybe we should get together and have coffee and wine and pastries. I apologize for messing up their names in my earlier post.
4. Getting up to the podium to speak and not being wretchedly anxious for the first time ever.
5. Signing 90 quizzes about SPEAK for a new teacher named Dena from Long Island.
6. Savoring the outstanding coffee in my hotel.
7. Seeing the first sketches for the CHAINS cover.
This is kind of hard to see, but it is a shot of the teachers in the audience closing their eyes at the request of my co-presenter L.M. Elliott so they could better imagine a scene.
Now it’s time to turn on the parade and eat the leftover stuffing before the kids wake up.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am grateful for all of you and for the delicious, delirious, compassionate World of Books that brings us together.