There is life, and there’s life. I haven’t been writing lately, at least not on the book. Two weeks ago (or was it three? Oh, dear…), I went to the public library and immersed myself in the microfilm world of newspapers. Old ones. For hours. I had so much fun!
I was looking for true motivation, real impetus for Kate to make the moves I have her making in my story. Cool thing is, I found some in those long-ago headlines and stories. That is the best part.
Since then, though, I’ve not set pen to page. Or fingers to keyboard. I have been thinking about it, jotting notes, maybe. And I’m not blocked, exactly. I know where I’m going when I do sit down to go there.
I just can’t sit down right now. Life has thrown us more than a few large-ish things to wrap our heads around. I’m not trying to be mysterious or anything, and it doesn’t involve any terminal illness or family catastrophe, so you can just calm down and take another sip of tea. All will come out all right on the other side, as we go.
But there are many things to think about and ponder. Things to research. Things to try out in our minds, my husband and me. And some of them are scary. Some are maddening. Some make some sense, even though they mean a complete shift in mindset.
One of the immediate things that makes it hard to sit down is a change that is coming very soon for me personally. After 12 years at our school, I’m retiring from the classroom. In a month, I’ll be done serving students in the school library I built from a room full of books into the living, breathing program it is today.
I’ve needed to do this for a variety of reasons, and one of them is that I’ve been serving small ones for upwards of 18 years, and I want to leave it while I still love it. I still do. But it’s time to move on.
I need shoulder surgery. I need extended time to heal, not bound to a schedule while I do that.
I need to grow this publishing business, which is moving along in tiny, lovely steps toward more than it has been up to now.
And I need to finish my book. It’s time to give myself a timeline and put in the work.
If you’re wondering about all that this means for me as a book person, I’m not done being passionate about children’s books, though it is strange in some ways to think that I won’t be sharing them weekly with young students.
I have no plans to stop reading books for young people, to stop trumpeting the importance of diversity in children’s literature, or the beauty of story, or the strength of characters. You’ll still be hearing from me on those points.
I look forward to continuing to be a resource for you, and to continuing conversations around books we both might love.
Maybe, just maybe though, it’s no surprise that I’m not writing much lately. Maybe.