May brought three back to back travel writing events. It was exciting,
First, I visited Chemeketa Community College of Salem. The drive was lovely, about an hour, and I got to see charming farm county and learn where St. Paul is. It was fun to arrive and see all the children ready for an exciting campus field trip. I loved their happy energy.
My first day at Chemeketa I was asked to simply share and talk about my books. It was a wonderful audience of writers, and future educators, and parents. That Saturday I returned to give a focused four hour writing workshop. We had great fun.The school provided our workshop group with a smorgasboard of pizza, salad, snacks and beverage.
Following this event, I dashed home to leave the next morning for Maryland. We took our daughter for a crash course in living history, and also attend the Maryland Library Associations Conference where I received the Blue Crab Young Readers Award for GOOD DOG, AGGIE. I found the group to be welcoming, warm, and just wonderful, as they treated my family to dinner and they were a great audience as I had the honor of sharing where Aggie came from.
After this, I went to Cottage Grove where the kind principal hosted me during a wonderful two day school visit. I was delighted to learn that an Aggie coloring contest was held and that for two days I would get to have lunch with the contest winners. The student body was filled with excited energy and I met one quite talented third grade writer. We enjoyed creating story ideas, and we actually made it rain fish! Cottage Grove really knows how to welcome a visiting author. Aggie coloring pages became entry and office wall paper! They were gracious, filled with hospitality, and I loved that whole experience. What great kids.
As we spring into summer, more fun lies ahead. Writing From the heart is just two weeks away, and I love that special week with writers. Then, I get to come home and welcome the sweet girl coming from France to learn what an American family and culture is like. We've already made contact with our exchange student and are excited to have this opportunity to host her.
In July I'm off to my birthplace, Chautauqua, where I was reborn a writer. Joy Cowley, who I love, will be honored, and I can't miss this. She was my mentor at Writing From the heart, before I was asked to follow her in leading the very retreat that grew me. With over 600 works to her name, it will be such a sweet joy to share in the honoring of this good friend and literary master. Two weeks, from today, I'll be on a plane headed for Writing from the Heart in beautiful Boyds Mills. I cannot wait. This place breathes serenity, friendship, and inspiration- climate perfect for story.