Saturday, May 17, 2014

Celebrate This Week - May 17, 2014

This year, I am trying to increase my awareness of the many good things that happen, which are frequently overlooked by me.  To help me, I am joining Ruth Ayres' Celebrate This Week.

Here's what I am thankful for this week, and well last week too...

I missed being able to do a Celebrate This Week post last Saturday.  As a result, I am sharing my celebrations from the past two weeks.

1.  Debut Author Launch Parties - In Southern California, I am fortunate to meet and get to know and interact with a number of Children's and Young Adult authors.  Recently, I was invited to attend the Book Launch Parties for Tracy Holczer (The Secret Hum of a Daisy) and Catherine Linka (A Girl Called Fearless). Both of these authors are super nice and their books are amazing.  I was thankful for the opportunity to celebrate their books with them and their friends.

Tracy Holczer does a dramatic reading of The Secret Hum of a Daisy.
Catherine Linka talks about her book, A Girl Called Fearless.
2.  End of the Year School Open House - Not this past week, but the week before, I had the chance to attend Open House at several of our elementary schools. I love going and watching children and parents visit classrooms and celebrate learning with their teachers.  It is certainly a time when teachers get to shine and show off all the wonderful things that they have been doing with their students.

Art from one first grade classroom.
3. Screening of The Fault in our Stars - Earlier this week, I received an email from my Penguin Book Rep asking if I would like to attend a special screening of the movie version of The Fault in our Stars. I jumped at the chance to go with several other book buddies. It is one of those rare times where the movie adaptation of the book is well done, and I was glad for the opportunity to see it with friends. The movie releases on June 6, 2014.  Even if you have not read the book, you should still go see it, and then read the book afterwards. 

4. Cross Country Collaborations - Social Media may seem strange to those who do not understand it but for me it has opened up some amazing doors to collaborate with colleagues across the country.  Those collaborations have resulted in new friendships, great discussions, and opportunities to speak at conferences such as the American Library Association Annual Convention (June 2014) and the National Council of Teachers Annual Convention (November 2014). I will be sharing more about this in future blog posts.

5.  Local Collaborations - Alethea (@frootjoos) and I had dinner last night with our friend, Non (@subjectplusverb).  Last night, we talked about various book and literacy projects that we were engaged in and the possibility of collaborating on future ones. One of the things, we talked about was what we loved to spend time doing.  I suspect that Alethea, Non, and I will never be on some fast-track to becoming billionaires, but our priorities were certainly in the right place.  I, especially, loved hearing Non talk about those things that were most important to him, such as, the time spent building his relationship with his wife, or doing projects or volunteer work that were meaningful and made a difference. I am so thankful for those that I have encountered in this journey called life that understand what is really important, and are willing to celebrate that with others.