Raisin Boxes

I signed raisin boxes today! It was a memorable experience!

Perhaps I should back up a little. I had the honor of going to Caliche Elementary School to talk with students about High Plains Heroes: Josiah. I spoke to two different groups of students. The younger children were adorable. All of them had a story to tell. As their hands popped up into the air, their teachers would caution, "Do you have a question or a tell?"

Invariably, they would say they had a question and then proceed to tell a story! I was in a room full of writers! That's what we do.

The sixth graders had actually read Josiah. Their unbridled enthusiasm -- "amazing," "two thumbs up," "I loved it" -- thrilled me. Kids don't lie; I easily could have heard, "It was stupid," or "It sucked."

Their questions also made my heart sing: "Did Bethy want to go with the outlaws?" "Will Bethy ever talk again?" "What happened to the grandpa?" And, "Will the puppies be in the next book?" (That boy has his priorities in the right place!)

They wanted to know how long it took to write Josiah, who was my inspiration, how many books do I have planned? There was a collective groan when I told them about the process of re-writing and revision. Students are the same everywhere!

I signed bookmarks for the second group; my moment of fame...or so I thought!

The next activity on my agenda was lunch in the cafeteria. As I was filling my tray, one little boy ran over and asked, "Will you sit with us?" Of course!

And then the fun began, "Will you sign my raisin box?" "Sign mine!," "Sign mine!" Lunch in the school cafeteria will never be the same. These children were bursting with joy over my book and my signature on a raisin box. I have much to be thankful for.

After lunch, I met with the Caliche High School book club. More delightful students who love to read. Some of them love to write and had questions about the process.

Today was a day that I'll remember and cherish forever. Thanks go to Jeremy from Barnes and Noble, and the staff and students at the Caliche schools. You've given me motivation to keep on writing! I will never forget this day!

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