A Gift for You
December 1, 2022
A Gift for You: Last Advent a friend, Rebecca Grabill, posted one of the stories from our Christmas story collection on her Joy of Advent website. I'm including it here today as an early Christmas gift for you. I hope you enjoy reading "The Holiday Bus." I encourage you to check out Rebecca's site for inspiring musings on the Advent season. And if you'd like a copy of Drive-Through Christmas Eve, you can order here. Richard and I will be signing books today at Sky West Trading in Greeneville, TN.
A SCHOOL VISIT One of the joys of writing for children is meeting with young readers. Recently, I visited a 2nd grade class at Tusculum View Elementary School here in Greeneville. The children were good listeners and asked lots of questions. One child asked, "What is your favorite book?" I responded quite honestly that Charlotte's Web is a favorite, and learned only afterwards that the children will be reading it later this year. Charlotte's Web is an absolutely beautiful story -- and beautifully written. Such serendipitous moments often happen during visits. If you haven't read Charlotte's Web lately, consider doing so. Children's books are fine reading for adults!
Later, I received thank-you notes written on colorful construction paper. Dahlia wrote: "Thack you Mrs. Elizabeth you mad my day." The paper was covered in hearts, X's and O's. Such notes are always fun, of course, but they also remind me how difficult it is to learn to write. The rewards are great, but learning to write is as difficult as mastering the violin, which most of us will never do. Kudos to parents and teachers who patiently guide young writers!
Words of Wisdom: Last night I was priviledged to attend a lecture by three award winning authors. One of my all-time favorites, Katherine Paterson, was on the panel. I'd heard her speak before, but every time I come away inspired. Despite her success, she admitted that publishing a book "is the scariest thing in the world." Why? It's certainly because one never knows how it will be received. As she later said, a book "is always co-authorship between you and the reader." I couldn't agree more. Every reader brings personal experiences and understandings to the text, which results in a unique interpretation. We authors rarely know what our words and stories will mean to an individual reader. My goal is write books that will give readers hope about the future and their place in it.
A Christmas Book for Readers 7-9: Christmas Crossroads is an interactive novel. Readers make decisions as they read, and these decisions determine what they see, hear, and experience during their journey. In this book, readers choose to be a shepard boy on a hill above Bethlehem, a girl in Bethlehem, or the young assistant to a wise man. The book takes them to the Holy Land for the birth of Jesus. A child can read each chapter over and over, making different choices each time. This is the first in a series of four novels that portray the life of Jesus for children.
QUOTE OF THE SEASON: "I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending." – Fred Rogers
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