HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!!
God, I love Fridays. Everything seems easier.
Thanks for all the encouragement and hurrahs about PROM’s release yesterday. I got a note from Editor Sharyn that it has also been nominated for the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2006 list, which I am thrilled about.
I know I had a bunch of things to write here, but my brain is still fuzzy. Arg.
Yesterday’s school visit at Limerick Elem was fun – it was Slipper Day. You can tell a lot about a kid by her or his slippers. Today is another elementary school visit. I am feeling like I don’t have enough hours and I have way too much work. Still have revising to do on the pb manuscript and I desperately want to send that off before the road trip starts.
I’ve also been feeling guilty about my response to Stuart a few days ago. I think I was too harsh and I apologize if he’s reading this. Here’s why I was cranky: I get email every week from kids who want Spark notes or Cliff notes to one of my books, or they want me to answer their essay questions. For them to find my email address, they have to go to the paragraph on the website that says I do not do homework. But still they try. I suppose they should get points for persistence, if nothing else.
Lazy kids not wanting to do homework I understand. I was one of those kids. But there is an additional issue here.
Kids and teachers have unprecedented access to authors via the Web. This is mostly good. I love hearing from readers, and I’ve had a blast keeping this LJ. But I think that the notion of a student’s personal interpretation of text is quickly vanishing. I hear from kids who want to know why I put a scene in, or what a symbol stands for, or – in Stuart’s case- what are the connections between Scarlett Letter and Speak. While I have opinions about all of these things, I think the reader’s interpretation is every bit (if not more!) valid than mine. That’s why we read books – they can hold up a mirror that allows us to see ourselves more clearly. This is especially important when you are a teenager and half the time you have no clue who you are.
If somebody wants me to do their homework I will laugh hysterically and say “no.” If somebody wants “the author’s official answer”, I’ll probably turn that one down, too. If someone is confused about a character or plot point, or wants to have an online discussion about it, I am totally there.