Monday, April 23, 2012

Patience and Fortitude

Recently, I went to the New York Public Library to do research for my second book in the Gabriel Hunter series, Welcome to Bibliotheca. What a career I have! I get to wander around the NYPL and call it research! The writer's life is a good one.

But I have to tell you, what an amazing building! Marble staircases, murals on the ceilings and walls, huge windows letting in the sun, and of course rows and rows of books. All of those books to read, touch, and smell. The hallways lead left and right like a stone maze. I got lost returning from the bathroom!

The NYPL was established in 1895 when the Astor and Lenox libraries merged with the Tilden Trust. A new library would be designed and 16 years after this historic merge happened, May 23, 1911, the new library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street would open.

Standing guard outside the library are twin lions originally named "Leo Astor" and "Leo Lenox," after the Library's founders. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia nicknamed them "Patience" and "Fortitude." Those names are still used today. No two better words describe the ingredients necessary to become a published writer. 

Patience and Fortitude come in handy in many other areas of life as well. They are like soldiers standing watch for us as we navigate through life. They remain quiet and stoic in the background, but just a glance over our shoulder lets us know we are not alone. We can accomplish anything with our friends near by. And should we forget them, it only requires a deep breath and a step forward to remember their presence and with them anything we wish is possible. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Authors' Day

I spent all of Monday at the Ocean Township Intermediate School with 85 sixth graders. It was fantastic! OTIS puts on an Authors' Day for sixth graders with serious interest and abilities for creative writing. The program started up four years ago by Mr. Robert Klinger, a sixth grade language arts teacher there. My hat goes off to him for all the hard work and dedication that goes into this day and to his students. What a blessing to have Mr. Klinger as a teacher. This year he was able to bring a local cable station to the school to film the day and the show will air in the fall.

The students always seem to enjoy themselves and learn tons about writing. It's a special day for them to be chosen by their language arts teacher and taken out of classes to participate in the fun event where they learn about everything from writing their emotions in poetry to illustrating a children's book.

Nothing beats their smiling faces when they read aloud the writing they did for me. Sometimes it's nothing more than a paragraph, but they're in the moment and they've learned something new. I hope all the kids keep up with their writing.

I can't thank OTIS and Mr. Klinger enough for allowing me to participate in such a worth while event.