I am sitting at the computer this pristine winter morning recovering from two days on the road.
On Thursday, I traveled to central Minnesota to speak to two libraries as a part of their series of "author talks." At the first talk, nobody showed. So I visited with the librarian. Eventually, a woman came with Fertile connections. We shared some Fertile gossip. Then a twelve-year-old who had been too shy to show up on time arrived, chastened, with her mother and we went over a short story she had started. That was fun.
I drove to the second town, took a nap in the car and went to my second presentation. The woman who was hosting was there, as was her mother-in-law, who made it clear that she was just there to keep her daughter-in-law company "in case nobody showed up," which is just what happened.
So, 360 miles, a nice fat check––and no presentations.
Yesterday, I drove to Thief River Falls to a children's writer's conference where I worked with three sections of 5th-7th graders. The presentations were an hour long. The kids were a delight. They are intelligent and they love to read. We had many good laughs.
But the experience required a two-and-a-half hour nap once I got home. I don't know how teachers do it.