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The cruelest month?

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Saturday, 09 April 2011 in Uncategorized

Not really. April here did begin with a snowstorm, as it does some years. But now the scylla is blanketing one corner of the yard (does anyone remember a popular song from the '50s called "Lavender Blue"? It had very silly lyrics, as many '50s songs did. But it does describe the color in the southwest corner of my yard ), and the forsythia is about to burst into its wondeful yellow. And we have taken the house off the market and decided to stay, because there is no place we like better than this.

I returned from a 10-day trip with a purse full of unreturned hotel keys and a suitcase full of laundry. It is very good to be home, though it was quite a wonderful trip, with great bookstores to visit, a few schools, a University lecture hall, a high school auditorium, a lot of enthusiastic readers, and quick visits with some friends en route. I was plied with gifts and fortunately most were small and thoughtfully chosen...a bookmark engraved with my name from The Tattered Cover; a box of note cards embossed with my name from Book Passage; the charming little dish from Copenhagen that Sean and Christine Astin gave me. One gift was big and unwieldy (a framed poster from my lecture in Ann Arbor) but I managed somehow to carry it without compromising my only-carry-on status; and Michael from Rakestraw Books kindly mailed me the book that I had no room to carry.

Here are some photos just sent to me from St. Anthony's Park Elementary School in St. Paul, MN, a visit sponsored by The Red Balloon:

Noah'sIntro

The wonderfully self-confident NOAH is introducing me here.

Signingbooks

After the presentation in the multi-purpose room I signed books in the library...

Fifthgradefans
 and here are some enthusiastic fifth graders.

I so rarely visit schools any more, for lack of time (and okay, lack of energy. It takes a lot of adrenaline!) but when I do, as here, I am reminded of the vibrancy and enthusiasm of kids....and the dedication of their teachers and librarians.

Now I must re-group and re-pack and head Thursday to St. Louis for the Arbuthnot Lecture, at which I will see another extraordinary group of old friends who will be gathered there from many different parts of the country....plus many many strangers who will feel like friends because we are all passionate about the same things.

When my grandson James was very small...three or four...he loved a recording of Louis Armstrong singing "Wonderful World." We could hear Jamie, as we called him then, singing it to himself frequently. But he sang it exactly as he had heard it, with Louie Armstrong's diction...so it was always "wonderful woild."

I thought that as I looked out this morning and saw the sun shining on the lavender-blue flowers. What a wonderful woild.

 

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Comments

Guest
ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

A long, but interesting lecture. The poems are a clever device to keep the audience in check. I'll have to borrow that next time I have to lecture (which happens almost never, but when it happens I have to ad lib to keep the audience from snoring loudly.)
The University of Michigan has an MFA program on creative writing where Peter Ho Davies teaches. I first read his work in an issue of Harpers (2001) and found his writing just amazing. His work (Equal Love, The Welsh Girl, The Ugliest House in the World) reminded me of Joyce's Dubliners-particularly The Dead- it is that good. I exchanged a few e-mails with him about his work fairly recently. I wish I had the time to travel to Ann Arbor to take one of his classes. :(
Cheers!
BTW- you've accomplished so much!

Guest
anne Monday, 29 November 1999

Weaving impressionable realities with inspired imaginings seems to be the magic of good fiction. I think our memories do this quite seamlessly at times, but only an accomplished writer can share the results so powerfully. Thanks for doing just that and for sharing your speaking engagement here.

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