Some of the classes at Hampden Meadows School in Rhode Island made a matrix of some of my books. It was great to see how the students had given so much thought to the various elements of the books and noted the similarities and differences. (And I loved the pictures they drew!)
And after my visit, I was presented with beautiful daffodils! What a lovely springtime reminder of The Perfect School Visit!
And tucked inside those flowers was......WILLY (from How to Steal a Dog)!
While in South Carolina this past weekend, my sister and I drove around our hometown, visiting some of our old haunts and reminiscing. We stumbled upon a great antique store and decided that after a rough three days, we deserved a treat...so we went in to look around.
First of all - the subject is fascinating: historical fiction about a circus on a boat, based on a real boat, called Floating Palace. Who knew?
But it's the writing that grabbed me with this one.
I mean, how can you not love a book that starts out:
I shoulda listened to my brother. Right follows Zach like a shadow, but wrong wears me like a skin.
I definitely had to lock the highlighters away while reading this library book, because my fingers were just itching to mark all the lovely sentences and phrases. (I suffer from OHD: Obsessive Highlighting Disorder.)
It smelled like dirty boys. And dirty boys are mean boys....
My family was a pile of rags now - shredded and torn.
Still, the corner felt safe and good, like vegetable soup on a rainy day.
Anger and fear took turns with me all night, so sleep did not find me until the pale lavender light wedged its way through the open door.
I couldn't picture myself in their top-buttoned world anymore. [I love that: top-buttoned world.]
Yesterday was the first Wednesday in ages that I haven't had a school visit or had to write.
So I decided to go to tap dancing class.
I've been tap dancing for FIFTY years.
I take a class whenever I can, which, alas, isn't too often anymore.
My tap shoes cost more than any other pair of shoes I own.
I sent them to a special shoe shop in New York City to have Savion build-ups (which means adding to the sole in a way that adds weight and gives a better tone - named for the tap dancer Savion Glover).
I keep them in a beautiful hand-woven bag from Guatemala.