What's a girl to do the day before the publication of her first ever book? Take train to city, forget I-Pod, roll eyes in annoyance, look out the window, try not to think about book, allow a few minutes of self-obsession, meet editor Beth Potter from FSG to celebrate book release at Craftbar in Flatiron District, eat fried risotto balls, feel supported by the gal with the porcelain skin, drink cappuccino, walk her back to work, remark on the cold weather - it's winter already!?! Take subway uptown and . . .
be reminded why I heart Rebecca and Jeremy Wallace-Segal so much by supporting them and their mission at the first ever Writopia fundraiser!!!!
Monkey mind - stop! Writopia reminds me of what's important.
The event was held at a comedy club and we brought swag bags, tables, and goodies from Zabar's to Stand Up New York on 78th street. There was a flurry activity in setting up, where I rested in not being in charge, but being told what to do. (Sometimes that's so relaxing, don't you think? I feel like I have to make so many decisions every minute - anyway, I digress!)
Everything looked beautiful, and Rebecca and Jeremy were rock stars with their professionalism. Parents and kids alike got up on stage and shared what Writopia means to them, how having this community has shaped their lives, and how it's an important piece of the dream to provide excellent programming to all kids/teens who want to participate, regardless of their socio-economic background. (Writopia prides itself in providing reduced or waived fees to 40% of the student body, but in order to facilitate that, the program need help from the community at large!)
Yes, I got all fired up. It's amazing to be part of this community, for my own personal mission to be so lined up with others. We're growing in Northern Westchester, we are. It's slower than I want, I must admit. We have the carpooling hurdle to overcome, the larger distances and limited public transportation. Sports. Yet I have two vibrant groups and several private students. I'll be hosting two Open Mic events in conjunction EDGES on both December 11th and December 17th at the Borders in Mt. Kisco. Yay!
(Writing and community . . . speaking of community, Judy Blundell was in town for the Books of Wonder holiday party, and we actually were able to meet up at Grand Central Station to take the train back to Katonah together!)
I am so blessed to be a part of all of these different writing communities - as a teacher, a writer, a novice, but most of all, a life-long learner!
Publishing is only a piece of the pie. It is not the whole pie.
That being said, tomorrow is pub day, and I am happy. I am also rambling on, and I must stop! It's late. Sleep well, my friends!
Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.