It might not seem like many (or maybe it seems like a lot) , but I’ve met five authors in my lifetime. The first was Jane Yolen, in 5th grade, when I was selected as a Royal Reader. I don’t remember much, except that I rode on a bus to Sacramento! I also still have my signed copy of The Acorn Quest. How lucky I was to have met Jane Yolen? I never met another author until I was an adult, when I heard Alice Hoffman speak at Borders Books about The Story Sisters in Sacramento in 2010. This year alone, I have met three authors! I treasure my signed copy of Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer and can’t wait for her next book. Erin Dealey visited my first grade class last week and taught my students about the writing process and poetry! Then, on Twitter, I saw this announcement for an event in Danville, California.
Who: Award-winning children's novelist, Kirby Larson.
When: Friday, 15 February 2013 at Noon.
How much: Free. We will be serving a light lunch, so reservations are essential.
Where: Rakestraw Books.
Luckily, I had the day off, so I made a reservation. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I envisioned lots of folding chairs, a podium, and a long line for signing books. We arrived early to buy our books so we would be ready! I couldn’t wait to meet Kirby, who was out doing two school visits that morning before coming to the lunch event. Then the woman behind the counter said, “Lunch will be next door at Amber.” We didn’t know how lucky we were. We really did have lunch with Kirby Larson. At a table for seven.
Rakestraw Books The Bookstore In Danville
Amber was delightful and lunch was delicious. But it’s the conversation I will never forget. Kirby shared the story of Hattie, and her great-grandmother who inspired her to write Hattie Big Sky, and the next chapter of Hattie-- Hattie Ever After. She shared her story as a writer. And she gave us advice-- to help us reach and teach our little writers, and to help us as writers ourselves. She told us that writing was a little like being a dog. “You have to sit. You have to stay. You have to dig.”
Sit. Stay. Dig.
So simple, yet profound. She is so right. It takes that time to sit and write, to keep at it and write a little every day. And to write you must know, and care about your topic. Dig for information, for those feelings, and just the right words.
I can’t wait to tell my students about Kirby Larson. And then we’ll write!
Read Kirby Larson's new book!
Hattie Big Sky: 2007 Newbery Honor
Book Trailer By MadisonLibRexburg
Official website Kirby Larson
Kirby’s Lane A Place for Readers and Writers
Kirby Larson interview
*originally posted February 19, 2013 on my blog at jenniferkloczko.edublogs.org