Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's with this cold front?

I was all geared up for summer. I changed over my closet last week, inspected which coats had to be dry-cleaned and which I could get away with leaving untreated for next year. I started saying "it's summer" at the end of nearly every sentence (I use the phrase to express how carefree I am feeling. Also, to forgive impulsive decisions). I even folded up my scarves and jammed them into a box at the top of my closet. Then wham! Like a smack to the face this cold front came in. Not only does "it's summer" currently sound ridiculous, it also feels like it's never going to come.

I'm spring boarding, here.

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with my friend Kate Tempesta. We were talking about what she calls "level four." That place right before you reach the summit where your energy is low, you're worn out, and it feels like the peak is never going to appear. We were talking about work, about how to navigate this "level four." How to hang in there when it seems like what you're working towards might never come to fruition. How to push through to level five.

Of course there are many different tactics: nose to the ground, perseverance, belief, acceptance. All of these worthy of consideration. But sometimes what you really need to do at level four is look around and realize how far you've made it. OK, it's not level five. And OK, you had your flip flops all out and ready and now you've been knocked back into boots but the truth is it's still May, it's still spring, and there are many wonderful things to acknowledge about this particular moment in time.

Speaking of level four...I have begun blogging for The Huffington Post on children's literacy, storytelling and a great many related things. You can read my first post here and please feel free to check back from time to time. I hope it can be a place, like this one, where you will feel welcome and maybe just a little bit inspired.

Here's to level four (and the promise of summer)


Monday, May 3, 2010

blast from the past books

I was at the New York Public Library this weekend for a children's writing panel and picked up From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. It's one of my all-time favorites and since I haven't read it in about five years, I'm having a lot of fun. It's an amazingly sensitive book, written with care and grace and humor.

"But it never makes any difference. Going home without knowing about Angel for sure will be the same as going home from camp. It won't be any different. After one day, maybe two, we'll be back to the same old thing. And I didn't run away to come home the same."

I can remember feeling this way as a child, wanting so badly to be different, for something to, finally, be the catalyst to set my adult life in motion. I suppose, if I'm fair, I still often feel that way.

What are you favorite blast from the past books? Do they still hold up when you read them today?