The world is a funny place. I sat down with my breakfast this morning and a book I’d just pulled off the shelf. I wanted something different than the thriller mystery I’m currently in the middle of (I’m not so keen on eating a poached egg while reading the description of a three-day old murdered man). When I skimmed my bookshelf for something to fit my mood, my eyes landed on The Invisible Child by Katherine Paterson. I finished my egg about two pages into one essay, but I sat there to read on, finished that essay and then read two more. When I closed the book it was amazing to me how much I felt like I’d just been in her presence. I don’t know how her voice sounds in reality, but I could hear her talking to me as I read, as clearly as if I’d been sitting in an auditorium with her spellbound by her thoughts and stories. I headed upstairs to get to my work, marveling over how writing can do that–transport a person into your kitchen so you’ve felt like you’ve spent time with them (while they have meanwhile been vacuuming, or checking their pantry to see if they need more chicken stock as they draft their grocery list, or some other activity that keeps them occupied and completely oblivious to the time they’ve also just spent with you in your kitchen). I resolved to read more of her books and then redirected my focus to my day and my To Do list, stopping first to check my email. And there in the subject line of the first new email waiting for me was the name Katherine Paterson.
How weird is that? It is totally mind-bending to me when coincidences like that happen. I think, “I should call my mother” and then the phone rings and it’s my mother. Her book wasn’t even the book I had in mind when I went to my bookcase, but the blue spine of The Invisible Child winked at me and I couldn’t resist.
Since typing this, I’ve had two more emails come in with Katherine Paterson as the subject, the reason being she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature this morning, succeeding Jon Scieszka. An excellent choice I think. Having freshly finished those essays, I’m especially curious to see what she does over the next two years.
Switching gears a bit, I’d like to thank the handful of you who have continued to check in over here on my little patch of internet. This blog has been neglected for sure, but it wasn’t forgotten or abandoned. Since my last post many months ago, I’ve half-drafted about a dozen posts but never finished any for various reasons. I’ll just say, 2009 was a challenging year for me. Emotionally turbulent, is the best way I can think to summarize it. It’s the type of year that I can now see might be one I look back on in a decade’s time as being pivotal, although that never occurred to me in my present day-to-day as I was going through the year. It was just a year of hurdle after hurdle, and just when you think you’ve leaped over the biggest one and are finished with the hurdles for awhile, you run smack into the next and land on your a**.
So, sincerely, thank you to those of you who have come back to check in. Your interest has been motivating and uplifting. I do have plans for future posts, some ideas I’d like to pursue for interviews with writers, and an inclination to spruce up the place around here a bit, so please keep coming back.