Today I shared Pink is for Blobfish with students during library time.
There were “eews”, “gross” and “yucks”.
According the author Jess Keating, the Blowfish has been voted the #1 Ugliest Animal in the World.
The students didn’t think he (or she) would get any Valentines today – so they made their own.
These two are my favorites:
Aleya, 1st grade
Marin, 5th grade
It was always my hope that young readers would learn about these strange creatures, and develop a caring attitude and empathy toward them. We share the earth with them, after all, and caring about them is the first step to sharing spaces and taking care of them. It was my hope that kids saw that the diversity of these creatures mattered, despite how weird and bizarre they are. – Jess Keating
They saw. Intermingled with the “eews” and “yucks” were “cools” and “wows” and “Can I have this book?” I expect this book won’t be staying on the shelf too long.
Thank you Jess Keating and Kenny Brechner from DDG Booksellers who originally had the idea for the Valentine’s Day for Blobfish contest.
Happy Valentine’s Day
Me, age 6
Most (sane) people go to college, start a career, get married, buy a house, then have kids, etc.. Me, not so sane. You might say I’ve taken more of a circuitous path, not only in life, but in writing as well.
Hence my official Acknowledgements page prior to the actual published book.
There are too many people I need to thank for just getting me to the place where I am at now:
- Friends who have believed in me far longer than I have believed in myself and encouraged me to follow my heart: Billy Fallon, Peter Reeves, Dana Berenson, and Laurinda Hawkins (still have that engraved pen to sign my first contract.)
- Teachers who welcomed me into their classrooms to test-drive first chapters and talk about writing: Mrs. Van Camp, Mrs. Monarca, Mrs. Govoni, Mrs. Sudol, and librarian, Mrs Phillips.
- Those students who stopped me in the hallways of Hebron Elementary to ask me again and again “are you finished yet?” and then told me how much they liked it after they finally got to read it. Many, many thanks to Meredith B., Brian H., Ben M., Zach S., Katelyn J., Sam B., I would never have finished the first draft if you hadn’t have kept asking.
- Friends and family who graciously read the first draft and didn’t puke – Joe, Dylan, Elena, Mom, Tony, Andy, Natalie, Aunt Chele, Uncle Mike, Kathy, Tim, Julie, Scott, Esther, Sarah, Sierra, Angela, Olivia, the Oullette family, and Amy (the slow reader who I know will get it to one of these days).
- My fellow SCBWI writers who continually offer gentle, yet honest criticism and support along with plenty of wine, chocolate and laughter: Nancy Tandon, Holly Howley, Jill Dailey, Jessica Loupos, Kristina O’Leary, Paula Wilson, Betsy Wittemann, Carol and Kelly. I truly believe we will be popping champagne corks one day soon. And thank you, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, for being so generous with your advice, and encouragement.
- The very talented and supportive writers and poets of the Whispering River Writing Group – Merle and Arielle Potchinsky, Willa Correnti, Alice Kuzel and Kelly Parlin.
- The lovely ladies of the Blue Crayon critique group – Heather Montgomery, Sharon Pegram and Linda Anderson. Our monthly deadline has kept me moving forward many times.
- Most especially, I must thank Carol and John Merrifield for not only opening up their home to five writers who desperately needed that quiet, uninterrupted time to create, but for raising the kindest, most thoughtful and talented daughter, Nancy Tandon, who suggested our (hopefully annual) Fireside Retreat. And a special thank you, Mom, for being “on-call” that weekend, just in case Joe had to work and couldn’t take care of the kids and the dog.
- And finally, I thank the Twitter/blog followers whom I am not related to, nor have ever actually met – thank you for that tiny thrill of knowing I’ve touched another life, giving me reason to keep writing.
I could not have come this far without you all.
I thank you all and invite you to my future book launch (date and location TBD, hopefully in this century).