I have not checked in in a long time, which I started to see as a failure. But I have been being very clear about my absolute top priority during various months, and blogging has just not been it. It’s been traveling overseas during one month, and having our daughter who lives overseas visit home for two months, and frantically keeping up with writing in the remaining months. So I’ve had to let some things go in order to clearly focus on THE most important thing at any given time. Though I miss being in better touch with my online community! So, I guess my absence has been both a success and failure.
I do a lot of events around writing and reading, and I love most of them. The most challenging ones, though, are the ones where it’s in a public space and you have no idea who will show up, what ages they will be, and what they’ll be interested in. It could be adults who want to talk about writing for kids, kids old enough to write poetry with, or toddlers who want to bark and moo to poems.
Today, I am in a small town called Hokah in the very southeastern tip of Minnesota. I will be doing a program this morning outside, in a city park. My audience could be 2 people (especially if it rains) or 20 people. It will be a mix of toddlers whose older siblings are at T-ball practice, to elementary and possible even middle school students. And some parents, of course. There will be no technology to share fun pictures and allow me to point at the green words they’ll all call out. The Librarian on the Loose (great name, right?) who visits various communities will be there, and she has requested a “storytelling session.” Hmm… I’m not really a storyteller. Not in a mesmerizing, performing kind of way that serious storytellers are! A real storyteller can tell a story and enchant an audience of ages 2 to 82. Not me.
So, I have all my stuff packed up. I have leaves for the kids to wave during A Leaf Can Be… I have poems with sound effects. Poems to echo read. Riddle-ku for them to try to solve. I have a baseball poem and a playground poem. I have a book about animal sizes with props to demonstrate those sizes. I will pick and choose which poems/books to do based on the age and mood of the kids. But I do have one clear message. Books can be great friends. They never leave for camp while you’re stuck at home, bored. They never borrow your stuff and break it. They don’t tell your secrets.
I’m hoping that going in with one clear message I want to leave the kids with, and sharing that message several times during the presentation (whatever the elements of that presentation end up being), will help this park program be a success and fire up some book love!
Wish me luck, and head over to Two Writing Teachers for links to more Slice of Life posts!