Happy Day-After-World-Read-Aloud Day!
About a month ago I saw something on Twitter that talked about an upcoming World Read Aloud Day set for February 1. Interested, I followed the link which led to another link which led to another link which led to a few hours reading about crop circles. Then I went back a couple of links and found a page from an author I admire who was taking names and information of any authors interested in being a part of World Read Aloud Day by Skyping with classrooms across America.
I sent my info over to her and the next day I was listed along with a gazillion other authors on her site. I shrugged my shoulders and forgot about it. But it didn’t forget about me.
I got three bites. Two wanted me to Skype on World Read Aloud Day, and a third was hoping I could do it a week later. So yesterday I Skyped first with Ms. Jenny Berlin’s English 7 class at Baker Middle School located in Troy, Michigan. Later in the day, I Skyped with Ms. Fran King’s combined classes of grades 5 and 7 at St. Andrews School in Clifton, New Jersey. I’m still in talks trying to find a time that works with the third school.
It was awesome.
First, I have to apologize profusely to Ms. Berlin’s class. I Skyped from my Chromebook, and couldn’t get my camera to work. So while I had a nice video feed of the classroom, they were forced to stare at a black screen. I’m glad they couldn’t see how red I turned when I couldn’t get it to work.
Other than that, however, it was a great visit. They had lots of fantastic questions, some of which I get all the time (as, I assume, most authors do) and some of which I’d never heard before. They were engaged and interested even though it was 8:30 in the morning.
For my second Skype, I used my phone and it worked fine. Again the kids had a lot of questions: about me, my books, the publishing world, and writing in general. For both visits I tried to impart what little advise I could, drawing a lot from my School Visit Presentation ‘What If?’ And then I read the first chapter of Dr. Fell.
Talking with these kids, it really makes me realize how lucky I am. I mean I spend my days grumbling about low sales numbers (got a royalties statement that was about as depressing as one could be) and worrying that I won’t get another contract and all the while I’m forgetting that I did it. I got two books traditionally published by a pretty big publisher. That is huge, and a lot farther than most writers will ever get. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunities that I’ve had, and I can only hope I haven’t wasted them.
Both classes asked what I was working on next. After explaining that most likely, the next thing they will come across is something I finished writing over a year ago, I teased my latest project. It got a decent reaction, and just talking about it, putting it out there in the universe, got me extra-jazzed about it. So I’ve been writing a storm the last couple of days and it is heading into the final stretch. I feel pretty confident that I’ll finish it this month. But then the real work begins.
But more on that on a later blog post.