Okay, dear readers, I’m on the plane now on my way to Chautauqua. I’ve promised to blog my experience at the Children’s Writing week at Chautauqua Institute, and I intend to keep that promise. For fellow writers, I’m going to try to pass on the essence of this trip as much as possible. For family and friends who have no interest in writing whatsoever, I hope you’ll still gain something from my experience. I feel so blessed to be participating in such a gathering that I want to share the wealth, you know?
So far, I appear to be the only writer around. I’m on the way to my connecting flight in Detroit, and let me say once again, flying is NOT what it used to be. It seems that every time I get on an airplane I’m shocked all over again. On this particular flight is a teen-ager wearing PAJAMAS, seriously, slippers and all. There’s a surfer dude in his bathing suit and a wife beater tank and interestingly, I saw him check in and get on the flight with nothing but an ID and boarding pass. No luggage, not a single bag. Interesting. I’m just glad I’m not sitting next to his exposed hairy armpit self.
I am supposed to arrive at the Buffalo Airport around 2:40, then the shuttle service will meet me there (they’ll be holding a Highlights Magazine-don’t you love it?), and then it’s about an 1 ½ hour ride from there. I’m looking forward to the shuttle, actually, because I’m sure I’ll begin to meet some like-minded people. I just can’t wait to get to know some folks with whom I can ‘talk shop’. I also hope I don’t cry again when I see Jerry Spinelli. I don’t even know why I did it the first time except I had this overwhelming feeling of THIS IS THE MAN WHO HAS IMPACTED THE LIVES OF COUNTLESS TEACHERS AND KIDS WITH MANIAC MAGEE ALONE. I mean, that book addressed some tough racial issues in a delightful way. It opened the door for healthy, life-altering dialogue in schools, families and neighborhoods. That is a significant contribution to the world. It was almost like a spiritual whispering in my ear, pay attention, this guy is the real deal. Because for me, writing is so much more than an interest, a hobby or a vocation, it’s a calling. I feel truly called to do it, and I only pray someone feels called to publish it (ha ha ha).
Okay, well I’d better go now. The guy in front of me just leaned his seat back, so I’m typing with my laptop open to only about 30 degrees, which is tough. Plus, I just ordered a cup of hot tea (because it is truly about 40 degrees on this plane—no kidding—teeth are chattering all over the place). Xoxox Wish you were here!
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.