MORRISTOWN, NJ — Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Alexander Hamilton School in Morristown, NJ:Looks like a large, stately mansion, doesn’t it? I love the Classical columns in the front, where I was greeted warmly by the librarian, Linda Murphy.
I forgot to mention to the young readers there that I have a close connection to Alexander Hamilton and his nemesis, Aaron Burr . . . I live TWO miles from the site where Burr shot and killed Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey, in 1804. You can read about it here. It’s very creepy!
Christian, a third-grader, came in early and welcomed me with his hip-hopping. Click on the photo to see him in action. He was fantastic!!! Thank you, Christian for such a special welcome to your school!
This is what I love most about author visits: The beautiful smiles and enthusiasm!!! Plus, everyone here was SO well prepped — they’d read more than one of my books. You have no idea how good that makes an author feel. I felt like dancing — just like Christian!
They gasped at all the right moments:And asked some great questions:And took LOTS of good notes:Who says you come to an author presentation to be entertained? You come to work 🙂 !
It was fun, right???
I hope you guys are also practicing your Shakespearean compliments!!!
Thou art such a joyful, happy, quick-witted, kind-hearted, well-read bunch of lollapaloozas!!!
Add that to your writers’ notebooks — a list of unusual words — like lollapalooza. I just love that word!
When you’re an author, Author Day turns you into an eating machine! It’s not at all like a regular author day (lower case) when you’re sitting at your desk writing your books and not burning 5,000 calories per hour.
The last event of the day was my writers workshop. It was an unseasonably warm afternoon, and I thought for sure, it would be a soporific time in the very cozy library. I pictured speaking to a group of nodding heads and closed eyes. I would have it easy, right? Wrong!
The young writers at Alexander Hamilton were SOOO enthusiastic, they hijacked my workshop from the get go!
First, Hadley, on her own accord, stood up in front of everyone and read a wonderful poem that she had written about her little sister, Elizabeth. It was such a loving tribute that it made Elizabeth blush and hide behind her hands, but only for a moment.
Then Diana got up and read a poem about being a pair of shoes, and everything that the shoes have to put up with by being on her feet. It was super-duper clever and Diana was ever SO dramatic in her reading! I loved it!
After that, Elizabeth got up and read something she wrote. It was only then that I remembered my camera, so here she is: She was very good! When you’re an author, and you have a loving sister like Hadley who’s also an author and writes wonderful things about you, it will give you this kind of confidence. You will find your voice. You may be the smallest one in the room, but you will stand up and be heard.
What’s more important to learn than that?
That’s the other thing I love about author visits. Your readers will surprise you, humble you and teach you things you would never learn on your own.
You will feel so grateful.
We had such a wonderful writers workshop, I didn’t want it to end.
Thank you, Mrs. Murphy, for a truly spectacular day.
Thank you, Alexander Hamilton HSA, for your generous support.
Thank you, young readers, for being so marvelous and inspiring to me!!!