I’m a couple of weeks behind due to travel, so I’ll use this week’s Gratitude Sunday to catch up on all the goodness that has happened.
I do have to make special mention of one event that was truly extraordinary. I got to meet one of my childhood/adolescent heroes at the SCBWI LA conference – Henry Winkler, a.k.a. The Fonz. I’m sure, after all Henry Winkler has accomplished as an actor, director, producer and now children’s author since the end of Happy Days, it’s a bit frustrating for him to have fangirls like me who still can’t get over him in that role. But, in my defense, it is not an exaggeration to say that show got me through my wrecked middle school years. In the midst of some very unhappy days, I’d watch marathons of Happy Days reruns in syndication in order to get me to Tuesday night when the new episodes would air.
PLUS, Night Shift is one of my ALL TIME favorite movies. I swear one summer my brother and I watched that movie on tape so many times we could recite every single line from memory. “Hello, this is Chuck to remind Bill to SHUT UP…” and “I’m alright. Fortunately the ground broke my fall.”
Now he writes the Hank Zipzer series with none other than Lin Oliver, SCBWI Executive Director. Hank is a humorous series that features a 4th grade boy with dyslexia, a learning disability Winkler himself suffers from. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for him to grow up with dyslexia before parents, educators and doctors really understood the condition. What an inspiration for children with learning disabilities to have a hero in a book series who’s like them.
I could go on and on, but I’ll end with this. I was a bit embarrassed because I practically tackled him as he was on his way on out the door at the end of the book signing party. I apologized up and down, but I simply could not let the opportunity to meet him pass me by. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “Don’t apologize.” We took the photo, and then he rubbed my back and gave me a hug. *Picture me melting now*
When I showed the picture to my daughter, she wasn’t immediately convinced of Winkler’s status as an iconic hero. So I had to play a few Fonzie clips for her on YouTube and now she is more than convinced. I’ve included one at the end of this post for your own enjoyment. Aaaay!
Quotes on Gratitude
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The gratest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” — Seneca
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” — A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Gratitude list for the week ending August 11
- I went to San Francisco the day before the SCBWI LA conference to stay with my college friend Erica and got to right a 20-year wrong – the fact that we had to leave Les Miserables early as poor study-abroad students in London. We saw the 25-year anniversary show at the Orpheum Theater downtown – all the way to the end!
- Although I took pitifully few photos at the conference, I got to meet many friends who up to this point had only been virtual – Carter Higgins, Kirsten Larson, Miranda Paul, Jan O’Neill, Christine Alemshah, Mira Reisberg, Karen Cheesman, Sue Fliess, Lori Degman, Tammi Sauer, Debbie Ohi, and Emma Dryden.
- Getting a chance to thank agent Steven Malk for two very personal, very helpful rejections (yes, rejections). In an industry where “if you never hear anything from me that means no,” I think it’s very genteel and classy that he takes the time to respond.
- Tony DiTerlizzi’s keynote speech. I swear he transforms into Robin Williams on the stage. He could easily play at the Improv.
- Getting my eBook on Submissions finished! For a long time I’ve wanted to offer a free gift to people who sign up for my newsletter, and now I can.
- Two amazing books by Robert Hellenga, which kept me great company on my travels – The Sixteen Pleasures (a re-read) and The Italian Lover (a sequel of sorts). Now I’m reading The Fall of a Sparrow, which features a character from The Italian Lover. Next up is Philosophy Made Simple, which features the father of the female protagonist in The Sixteen Pleasures. Brilliant!
- The Brain Burps About Books podcast episode I was in, talking about apps, came out this week.
- My kids both got the teachers they most wanted for the upcoming school year.
- My mom’s amazing fried chicken and the company of my aunt and cousin to enjoy it with
- Sleeping to the sound of crickets at night
What are you grateful for this week?
Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Books, Brain Burps About Books, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, SCBWI, Self Publishing, Writing · Tags: Authors, Books, Carter Higgins, Children's Books, Debbie Ohi, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Emma Dryden, Gratitude, Gratitude Sunday, Hank Zipzer, Henry Winkler, Jan O'Neill, Jon Klassen, Julie Hedlund, Karen Cheesman, Kirsten Larson, Lin Oliver, Lori Degman, Mira Reisberg, Miranda Paul, Newsletter, Queries, SCBWI, SCBWI LA Conference, Self Publishing, Submissions, Sue Fliess, Tammi Sauer, Tony DiTerlizzi, Writer