Monday, April 21, 2014

Good on Paper, Reading for Life, and Catching Up

one fraction of the photos we took to get one good one...

People don't believe me, or think I'm being humble or something, when I try to explain that I'm just a mediocre, often-lazy, average human, wasting tons of precious time, who simply knows how to make herself look good on screen or on paper.

But, it's the truth, yo. I'm no fool. I know how to make myself look good "on paper." I know how to market myself, to sound busy and productive, and certainly how to take four thousand photos to get one good one (and then retouch that one several times to hide all the shadows and folds).

In the spirit of disclosure, now you know.

Really what I do daily, is long to be better and do more. To eat less and healthier, to get more exercise, and, mostly, to waste far less time. Life is short and I am getting rapidly older. I want to add more to this world.

And yet I often find myself distracted. Lazy. Not making the most of each day.

Not even really knowing how.

So when a chance to participate in an organization called Reading for Life basically fell into my lap, I jumped on it. I mean, how hard is it to jump at what's placed there? All I had to do was pop on my computer for a Skype visit and hang out with some kids who had read my book. Sure, maybe those kids have somewhat troubled pasts, when I have led a mostly-charmed life. So maybe I felt a twinge of nerves about how they might relate to me and my mostly unedgy, tween-safe THE PULL OF GRAVITY.

But, what was the worst that could happen? They'd be bored and jaded and hate me, and we'd spend a few awkward moments on Skype.

Of course, that's not what happened at all. Instead, we spent an amazing 45 minutes or so on Skype, and I hung up feeling lucky and more charmed for having the opportunity to use my book and newly-cultivated writer's life, to make a connection with some really-deserving kids.

A mutual affection society was born and I started doing what I could to spread the word of Reading for Life.

Fast forward to this May, when I will head out to South Bend, to spend some real, quality, one-on-one time with these kids, as well as with Alesha Seroczynski, the amazing founder and director of this organization, IN PERSON.

RFL, making ME look good on paper...

Although I'm not the best traveler (read, adult-onset fear of flying) I am SO looking forward to this visit, including a 5/20 appearance at the B&N University Park Mall at Mishiwaska, which I'm hoping may be full of some of the wonderful Nerdy Book Club peeps from that pocket of the US, and an all-day visit to North High School in Napanee, IN with Kelly Vorhis and her "kids," all in all another whirlwind visit to that beautiful section of the US.

Because, yeah, I just got back from there. A whirlwind two days at the Fox Cities Book Festival, in Appleton, Wisconsin, where between Friday and Saturday, I visited THREE high schools and two libraries, Appleton Public Library, and the Kimberly - Little Chute Library.

During my second visit, this one with the Writers Group at Appleton East
(after Appleton North, and before Appleton West)
All of that followed my book release party for The Summer of Letting Go at Book Revue Huntington (you can find photos at that link, if you wish), a 90-second Read Event at the Dolphin Bookshop with some of my favorite old and new MG & YA peeps, some sundry Skype and quick in-person visits, a few guest blog posts (Dear Teen Me, and Nerdy Book Club in particular) and, alas, a week of the dreaded flu upon return from my trip to Wisconsin.

Hopefully, I'm on the mend, and back at it all, and you're all caught up (to the extent that you wanted to be). I have LOTS of writing (and revising!) to do, my older son already finishing up his first year of college (?!?!), my youngest one driving with his permit, and getting ready for summer including another one full of Maccabi basketball, this time with "games" in Detroit. Plus, there's a visit to the wonderful Eight Cousins Bookstore in July.

With all that said, I've got a calendar full of appearances and events hopefully updated and fully-corrected HERE (see sidebar to the right), and maybe another super-secret, fabulous announcement here soon.

Maybe, maybe not. ;) Stay tuned.

xox gae


  1. I was so hoping I could make it up to South Bend/Mishawaka, but we're not quite out of school by the 20th. (Last day is May 23). I'm not sure I'm heartless enough to leave my 7th graders with a sub that close to the end of school. Enjoy your visit to Indiana. I'll be sending good thoughts your way from down south in the state.

  2. Such an exciting journey to follow :) and I'm always glad to see a B&N in there (I used to work for the VP for the Southeast college division, so I'm partial to them).
    Sorry you got sick, though! Hopefully you're 100% better soon!

  3. I found a poem in your post:

    People don't believe
    I am just mediocre
    wasting tons of precious time.
    I'm no fool.
    I know how to look good,
    how to take 4,000 photos
    to get one good one.

    Like you, I long
    to be better
    to eat less
    to add more to this world.

    I feel lucky today,
    more charmed,
    to be here with you.

  4. You did, Margaret! How lovely! :) Speaking of which, how is your poetic mss??!?!

    Kay, will miss you! But it's too long a drive. Missing my friend Paul Hankins too. IN seems like it should be IN, but like NY it stretches far.

    Kristen, xox