Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Remembering Why I Do This

Yesterday, I had one of those moments that reminds me why I do this. See, lately I've been sucked into this vortex of all the things I'm supposed to be doing pre-launch. If you're a writer of the aspiring or debut sort, you've heard all these things a million times. You need a social networking presence; it's a good idea to do a launch event; make the most out of your advance copies with an ARC tour; do a book trailer; be available. The list goes on and on. Not that I'm complaining, HECK NO! By and large, I enjoy these things; it's just that they keep coming so fast and furious that I've been rushing through them trying desperately to get through my to-do list for the day. And then the next day, I do it all over again.

But yesterday broke the mold. Yesterday, I did an author visit in my son's first grade class. There was no pressure--these kids are too young to buy my book, so I threw all that advice out the freaking window. They were excited to see me. I talked to them about the process of writing a book. They took great delight in listing off things that were stinky in a brainstorming exercise. Their eyes nearly popped out of their heads when I took out the prop sword, and it got even better when I duct taped myself to the chair.

I had as much fun as they did, and they got so excited when I handed out bookmarks at the end that it made me remember why I do this in the first place--because it's FUN. Because I don't believe in magic, but I do believe in books, and in a way they're the same thing. I'm so glad I did it. I'm also glad I taped myself to the chair, although I have to admit that I hadn't planned it in advance and got halfway through and thought, "Man, I hope this isn't a really BAD idea."

Obviously, I got out. And I had one heck of a good time too.

17 comments:

Kristine Asselin said...

Great reminder! I've got a school visit tomorrow--and now I'm more excited to get there. Though there won't be duct tape in my presentation...

Scillius Maximus said...

[Clapping]

I Believe in Faeries, Too!

storyqueen said...

Swords, duct tape and first graders....are you crazy, woman??? You are lucky you got out of there with your life!!

But it does kind of sound like a blast....

Shelley

Stephanie Faris said...

I think the author visits are the most important thing...but that's just my inexperienced take on it. I write for middle grade audiences, so it'll be a little hard to market to them via web...do you market to their parents or to them? I'm still figuring all this out!

Anita Saxena said...

Taping yourself to a chair- that's great.

Kristi Helvig said...

That's awesome. I'm in my son's first grade class volunteering several hours each week, and it's so much fun. I can't wait to be legit enough for actual author visits!

Vivi said...

That sounds so awesome! It's so fun talking to little kids. That would be my ideal audience. I always thought I had a weird sense of humor, and then I realized that I'm basically just a six year trapped in an adult's body. Kids totally get me!

Barrie said...

I can totally relate. I had a great school visit last week. I turned off my cell, leaned back in my chair (no duct tape, though) and just had fun.

ajmitchell said...

That sounds like one of those one in a lifetime experiences. Plus, I'm pretty sure your son is now the coolest kid on the planet to that class!

Anonymous said...

All I could think of was [pg, possibly pg13 warning] Reese Bobby.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Fun with duct tape -- sounds like a perfect day!

Suzanne said...

Off the cuff duct tape?!?... you are kind of amazing. Do tell: how were the duct tape and sword implemented into your presentation? I look forward to the day I get to do school visits. =)

Carrie said...

Kristine: Oooh! I'm excited for you too! Hope you'll stop by and tell me how it goes!

Scillius: You, my friend, are a smartass. :)

Storyqueen: Why, yes, I AM crazy. Thanks for asking. Hee.

Stephanie: Yes, I can definitely see how visits would really be important for authors writing for younger audiences. I've started doing visits with teens, who are really my audience, so it was a lot of fun visiting kids who wouldn't quite be ready for my books--just visiting for FUN.

Anita: I'm just glad I managed to get out. :)

Kristi: That's just plain awesome. And I can't wait to celebrate that day too!

Vivi: And this explains why *I* get you. Because I am exactly the same way!

Barrie: I'd pay someone to get to tag along on one of your school visits. Plain and simple.

ajmitchell: You are so right. And I'm a pretty proud mom too! :)

Anny: *laughsnortchoke*

Sherrie: An AVERAGE day in Carrieland. :)

Suzanne: Well, the prop sword appears in the book, so I made one to show to the kids. And there's also duct taping in the book, so I was talking about how it's helpful to act things out when you're editing and...well, I DID. :)

Marsha Sigman said...

Duct tape is always a crowd pleaser.

And yeah, can't forget the real reason we write. To shove it in everyone's face at the next high school reunion...I mean because we love it.

K. M. Walton said...

Such a great story, Carrie. I know those kids went home with the best answer to, "So what did you do at school today, honey?"

Congrats!

Jessica said...

Okay, I am by no means a first grader, but I totally wish I had been there for that class visit. IT. SOUNDS. EPIC!! So funny. Glad you got out of the duck taped chair...and that you found your reasons for writing, etc. again! :)

Dalton said...

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