This week’s post is mostly about the Highlights Foundation Poetry for All workshop I attended this week.
I’m sure all book lovers can appreciate the thrill of meeting writers whom you’ve long loved and admired. This week was no exception. It started by riding from the airport to the property with David Harrison. I confessed to him how nervous I was, and and he gave me every reassurance that I was in the right (and in my rightful) place. Next came Rebecca Kai Dotlich– her smile was the first thing I saw when I walked into the barn, and her voice raised in welcome was the first thing I heard. When I managed to stammer
out the fact that I am a huge fan, she humbly accepted the compliment and
then immediately began to inquire after my own writing. Finally there was Eileen Spinelli, soft-spoken and humble (and who brought Jerry Spinelli along!). I choked up when I told Eileen what her book WHEN MAMA COMES HOME TONIGHT meant to me as a full-time working mother after my daughter was born – before writing books for children was even a twinkle in my eye. She in turn said words about my own writing that made me cry again (later, and in a good way).
So this post is dedicated to these three people, who are as gracious and kind as they are talented. AND to the 20 fellow writers I was privileged enough to work with over the four days. I am honored now to count you among my friends.
Quotes on Gratitude
“We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of the world.” — Jack Gilbert
“Accept — then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it… This will miraculously change your whole life.” — Eckhart Tolle
“Grace and gratitude go together like heaven and earth.” — Karl Barth
Gratitude list for the week ending May 19
- Eileen Spinelli told me that a manuscript I had stopped working on two years ago, one which is close to my heart, should NOT be put in a drawer. I am now happily revising it again with renewed hope for its future.
- Rekindling my love of poetry and letting go of my fear of writing it
- The profound and complete silence in the cabins at nighttime. Except for the steady rain.
- The fact that Jerry Spinelli came with Eileen Spinelli – an amazing author two-fer!
- The food gourmet chef Marcia made for us. What a treat!
- Getting a tour of the Highlights office. I’ve loved the magazine since I was a girl, so that was a special thrill.
- The fellow poets who attended the retreat. It’s fair to say we were like family by the time we said our goodbyes on Thursday.
- Coming home with seven FREE books of children’s poetry
- Working with three of the best poets in children’s literature for four whole days!
- My daughter, inspired by Eileen’s TEA PARTY TODAY: POEMS TO SIP AND SAVOR, set up a little mother-daughter tea party on Saturday morning before I was even awake.
What are you grateful for this week?Categories: Authors, Children's Books, Creativity, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Picture Books, Poetry, Publishing, Travel, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: Authors, Creativity, David Harrison, Eileen Spinelli, Gratitude, Gratitude Sunday, Highlights, Highlights Foundation, Julie Hedlund, Picture Books, Poetry, Publishing, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Travel, Works in Progress, Writer, Writing