New Year often feels like a time for a big leap–or at least a big step. Preferably forward. Three years ago at the end of December I headed to Chicago for what became an intense year of meeting fans of Lanie. Could anything be sweeter than talking to readers of that age?
Listening to those youngsters tell me about gardens and yards and bugs and butterflies made me want to write the novel for young readers that will come out this year. It made me fall in love with my garden all over again, a love that became requited once I moved to Portland.
These rainy wintry days as I walk out and survey the garden, I like seeing the plants that flunb themselves all over in the spring. A lot of them are still moving, creeping out over the bricks and curbs.
I like leaps. But a lot of good things move slowly. When I was a child, we crept up Maji mountain in a Jeep, often going so slowly that my sisters and I could hop out and walk for a while. In the smooth spots, we would stand and let the wind whoosh our hair and shout, “Super highway!” We made up stories about all the plants and rocks around us and let those stories unfold bit by bit.
Every teacher knows the faith it takes to believe that one bit piles on another bit and gradually makes something real and new.
Bit by bit. Word by word. Dab by dab. Rock by rock. Bring on 2013!