It’s been a long day (a very long day), and I’m so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open, but I really want to write this post tonight, so have patience with any upcoming slight incoherence…
Today the Teen Book Group had a fabulous experience – a Skype visit with author Jessica Day George, author of many books, including Dragon Slippers, Princess of the Midnight Ball, and the book that the group had read for today’s meeting, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. I’ve read and enjoyed two of Jessica’s books prior to this book, the two Princess books, but I absolutely love, love, LOVED Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. As I got towards the end of the book, I found that I was reading slower and slower in order to extend my reading pleasure… and once I had finished the book, I felt that deep sense of loss of having finished a wonderful book. It’s not often that I have that feeling of loss after reading a book anymore, and it was delightful (and sad) to experience it again.
So, needless to say, I was looking forward to today’s Skype visit, and I know all of the teens in the group were very excited about it, too. And Jessica did not disappoint – she was charming, funny, cool, and incredibly intelligent as she answered the group’s questions for her. And patient, too, since a certain amount of shyness came over everyone once Jessica popped up on the computer screen, and all those well-thought-out questions disappeared from everyone’s minds in a poof of starstruck awe.
I loved that the teens got to talk with someone who is clearly very intelligent (Jessica speaks Old Norse, for heavens sake!), and well-educated, but also fun and cool. What a great role model for them, someone to show that it’s ok to be brainy and enjoy learning. And that through hard work and persistence, you can achieve your goals; Jessica talked a bit about how many rejection letters she had received from publishers prior to having a manuscript accepted, and I could see the budding writers amongst the teens first look deflated, and then empowered by the thought that a writer can survive rejection and achieve success.
After we ended our forty minute or so conversation with Jessica, I handed out paper and pencils and asked if everyone would take a minute to write a thank you note to her. Twenty minutes later, the notes were just getting finished, and they were really, really nice thank you notes: heartfelt, detailed, and sincere. After reading these great notes, I felt bad that I’d only passed out pencils as writing instruments – I wish I’d had some pens and nicer paper on hand so that the end products were as visually beautiful as the words on the page. The notes will be going into the mail soon, along with one of my handmade bracelets as a thank-you gift, though no notes or gift can fully thank Jessica for taking the time out of her day to share such wisdom and wit and sage advice with the group. I know that they’ll remember their visit with her for a very long time, and that is a thing of immeasurable value.
Thank you, Jessica!!!!!!!!!!