I’ve spent a lifetime creatively visualizing Desired Outcomes.
I’d read early on that doing so not only aided a Positive Mental
It led to Success.
Even Oprah highly recommended the practice.
“Just imagine…,” I’d tell my former fifth-grade teacher self, closing my
…authoring children’s books someday,
…receiving starred reviews,
…and finally, finally, teaching Young Writers as a school’s
I’m happy to report: after years on task, learning my craft whilst
reading-writing-and-connecting, after keepin’ keepin’ on DESPITE the
non-stop challenges, the above Desired Outcomes came to be.
I became a TeachingAuthor.
Just like the Heroes and Heroines of the books that fed me, I, too,
returned home with something even better than what I’d first sought.
I now teach and coach once-young writers how to write for children!
And, oh, how I love doing so.
Alas, and of course, many of my challenges refused to disappear.
Indeed, one in particular grew monster-like before my very eyes:
Yes, I’d learned to co-exist with first the Word Processor, next my
then finally my laptop.
And to everyone’s amazement, I joined this blog and have posted
non-stop since the Fall of 2009.
Still, technological advances continued to dog me.
Me, learning disabled. (I’m a multi-sensory learner.)
Me, a true Luddite.
Me, downright fearful of all I didn’t but needed to know in order
to join the Virtual World, especially and most recently when COVID-19
reared its virulent spikes.
But, surprise, surprise!
Creative visualization once again proved worthy.
“Just RE-imagine…” I told my TeachingAuthor self, closing my eyes,
…learning new Best Teaching practices,
…refiguring and reshaping my presentations,
…and finally, finally, teaching students in Cyberspace.
I’m happy to report: I am not only teaching remotely; I am LOVING it!
(YAY! Who knew?)
Meet my first online students (minus one) from my Summer Newberry
Library Advanced Picture Book Workshop. I dubbed them My
Newberry Squares. The Thanku I wrote in 2013 still applies.
My delicious class -
a bounty of new berries,
each ripe with story.
This Fall I meet weekly on Wednesday evenings with My
Newberry Squares II, teaching them the Picture Book’s magic.
Last week I introduced the Children’s Book World to 15 eager
writers during my University of Chicago Graham School Writer’s
I’ve used my spiffy-new OBS software to create live faculty
introductions and course descriptions.
And for the first time ever, I recorded and filmed an
orientation session for my SCBWI Illinois Chapter’s November 13-15
interactive 3-day conference Full Zoom Ahead.
It’s a Brave New World, alright.
But with the help of friends, family, colleagues, fellow bloggers,
supportive teaching communities, ZOOM workshops and both a
VERY patient blog administrator whose initials are C.M. and a gifted
technology tutor, Logan Kulinski - extraordinarily sensitive to the fears
of a once-young writer, like my Heroine William Steig’s Irene I’m
becoming more brave.
Happy Braving! The surprises are worth it!
Thanks to Janice Scully for her first-time hosting of Poetry Friday today
at Salt City Verse.