Friday, March 30, 2007

Writing Among the Avocados

I was reminded this morning that sitting down to write is a lot like lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. There is always so much "real" stuff that needs doing around here (like laundry and dishes and coordinating school visits and making sure our dog hasn't dragged in another avocado.) (The dog's a maniac. We call him Guaco now instead of his real name because he loves to make guacamole out of the avocados that fall from our neighbor's tree into our yard. He leaves the peels and the pits behind and can go through 3-4 avocados in an afternoon. And he's recently discovered that this feasting activity is much more enjoyable if done indoors.) So yes, there's the distraction of having a home office, and then there's just the fear of facing the page. I'm presently working on a grueling rewrite, and I find it easier to face the laundry and the dishes and a dog with avocado breath than the work of making a story the best it can be. And yet, when I finally sit down and face it, I always feel a sense of progress...even accomplishment. So after working several hours this morning on what I'm supposed to be doing -- writing -- I do feel good! I feel like I went for a writer run (if that makes any sense...)! Now it's time to check and see what ol' Guaco's been up to...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stepping Out the Door

The hardest part is getting out the door. But that's the commitment part; the part that tests me. I did not want to go for a run tonight. I wanted to stay in and do...anything. But I know from experience that once I've laced on my shoes and I've stepped out the door the rest will take care of itself, and that when I'm back home I will feel better than I have all day. And so I went. And now I do. Why is what's good for us often so difficult to embrace?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We've Launched!

Dear Readers, Writers, Runners: I'm a jogger, not a blogger. But I've been encouraged to keep a blog for the duration of this campaign, so here I am, blogging (when I really should be jogging). Since we got the idea in August, Mark and I have been working like mad on putting this campaign together. It's both scary and a relief to finally have the website live. Sometimes I think we're crazy--that two people can't possibly pull something like this together. But with wonderful support from Random House and such positive feedback from librarians and teachers and book people, I'm inspired to keep working at making this thing a reality. I participated in a week-long literacy festival in Red Bluff, CA last week, and during a speech I gave to a roomful of educators I explained how through my books I try to convey to kids that individual efforts matter, that they should stand tall for what they believe, and that where there's a will, there's a way. With this Exercise the Right to Read campaign I'm trying to live my own advice.