Thursday, February 26, 2015

50 States Against Bullying: MAINE

Last week, I flew from the west coast to the east coast for two school visits on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign. Both of those schools had snow days, so I used my free days to explore the D.C. area, but I'll be back to make up those states, because 48 States Against Bullying just sounds...ooh, so close.

After a weekend back at home, I hopped in a plane and flew from the west coast to the east coast again to attempt a school visit in Maine, making it my forty-third stop on the tour.

But again...snow day!

This time, I was able to move my flight back a day in the hope that there wouldn't be two snow days in a row. So what to do with my free day in Bangor? Well, the most important thing any author can do in Bangor is pay his or her respects to the home where many, many, many brilliant and dark stories originated.

I'm talking, of course, about the home of Mr. Stephen King.

The gate around his house has evil looking metal sculptures guarding the inhabitants on the other side, so I didn't dare walk up to the door. But I wanted to!

Then I did a little fanboy touring around town, visiting the storm drain that inspired the famous paperboat and clown scene in IT. Of course, the drain was covered in snow, so I couldn't take a photo of it, but I know I drove over it!

I also visited the cemetery where they filmed some scenes from Pet Sematary, including Mr. King's cameo.

By the way, if your're not from here, you're probably saying Bangor wrong.

The next snow day! So I was able to visit Mount Desert Island High School.

I know what you're thinking: It sure doesn't look like a desert! And I knew you were thinking that because I thought the same thing. But this whole area obviously likes to play with how words are pronounced. It's pronounced dessert, like what you eat soon after dinner and usually again before bed. The story goes, some French guy came here and saw the mountains where nothing grew on top of them and thought they looked like deserted mountains. Did you hear that? Deserted. So that's why...

Nope! Still doesn't make any sense to me, but whatever.

Inside, they displayed their #ReasonsWhyYouMatter notecards.

The students were amazing to speak with and had many great questions, plus some silly ones. For example, apparently I look like I drive an Audi. I wasn't sure if that was a compliment or not, but the Audi website calls them luxury performance cars, and that sounds pretty good.

By the way, the students at MDIHS are All About Those Books.

The school librarian took me and local author (and friend) Christina Baker Kline out to lunch. And yes, Ms. CBK is an awesome author, but guess what. She used to babysit Stephen King's kids! If you're thinking, "I think I recall a story in Stephen King's On Writing about a babysitter," you're right. But that was his babysitter, not theirs. Please don't get the two confused.

This was followed by coffee with YA author Carrie Jones, whose debut novel came out the same year as mine. And we were in the Class of 2k7 together, so there is much history shared!

On my way back to the hotel in Bangor, I had to stop and get a pic of this miniature golf course covered in snow. The place is called Pirate's Cove, which made me laugh because the Pirate's Cove where I live is a nudist beach. But I didn't see any nudies running around here.

And that's probably a good thing right now.


Sabrina Steyling said...

That is SO COOL that you got to see Stephen King's house! "The Shining" is my favorite of his novels (I love the movies too). I remember that story about his babysitter from "In Writing" (I've been told that book is a must-have for all writers, which is why it's in my arsenal and that of so many other author friends of mine as well).

Have you read "Orphan Train"? I haven't...yet...Christina Baker Kline also has a home in Montclair, NJ and she was part of the BooksNJ expo at the Paramus Library in summer 2011. Too bad you can't make it to that (they have it every other year; there's one this summer) - my author friend Allison Formento has these great picture books about counting that Izzy would love, and she does presentations wearing a sparkly fish hat! :)

Chey said...

Im so bummed that I didnt get to run into you while you were here! I live pretty close to Stephen Kings house! It looks even better/ creepier when theres no snow!

Dillon Woodside said...

lol im the audi guy