All Over the Map

In one day this week, I Skyped with children in Rockford, Illinois, Georgetown, Maine, and, ummm, somewhere in Texas.  As anyone who reads this blog knows, technology and I have broken up and gotten back together again any number of times. But I’ve  never wavered in my devotion to Skype, which only seems to get better and better.  When I first tried it, there’d nearly always be a glitch, a slow-down that turned me into scary, robotic Tricia.  But this week, all went  Jetson-easy.

Lipstick, check. Pretty bright scarf, check. (It’s shocking, I know, but some authors, no names, are known to do these visits in PAJAMA BOTTOMS.) Ready for your close-up? That bloopy sound effect, a click of the mouse and—there they are! A room full of wide-eyed kids, waving at you.  The teacher’s head looms up, she adjusts the sound, some more waving, which is so much fun, and then it’s down to business, talking about how you became a writer and how you do it.  During one of the sessions, Habibi meandered by, and I was able to persuade him to wave to the camera (shrieks of glee). Now that  is something that’s never going to happen during my “real” visits.

As always, the kids asked wonderful questions, including doesn’t my hand get tired (no, but my brain does), where did I get the name Mo (I wish I could remember) and which of my books is my favorite? (I can’t pick one, because the others would get too jealous). One especially fun feature of these visits was getting to show the Mean Girl from PHOEBE AND DIGGER.  I put the page up close to the camera and made her wiggle menacingly–most effective!

As spring comes on, I’ll be doing more visits, some in person and some via the screen, each with its own pleasures. I even seem to have promised I’d do a “twitterchat” which sounds like a Shakespearean epithet.  Oh brave new world!

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Writing advice of the week, paraphrased from something Maya Angelou has said: Write. Just write and write no matter how hard. Sooner or later, the Muse will say, “Oh fine!” and show up.

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Still time to enter my PHOEBE giveaway over on Goodreads!