Sunday, April 03, 2016

Between 2 Holidays: ILLINOIS

I usually do a lot of travelling around Easter, though I would never miss being home on that special morning. Like most years, this Easter began with an egg hunt, followed by a hike up Terrace Hill with JoanMarie and Isaiah for a hilltop service.

The next morning, I flew to Illinois to do my part in two week-long high school events. But when I got to my hotel that night, it was being evacuated. The police officer told me it was for "hazmat issues." If you care to know what that issue was, you can click here.

So that's a new travel experience that may find its way into a story one day...

The first school I visited, Lakes Community High School, was in the midst of Writers Week. Obviously, I'm very pleased with how my author career has unfolded, but I've attended enough events similar to this one to wonder where my interests may have turned if I'd been introduced to so many different types of writing careers.


The one speaker I got to hear, Jennifer Dornbush, had a crazy story about how she found her way to crime fiction, It involved dead bodies being brought to her home as a child, and a photo of her Barbie doll in a bodybag.

I shared my author experience with two groups of students in the theater, and led a workshop on writing suspense to a smaller group of writers.

The "green room" was backstage, where departing theater students had left messages on the walls for future students. I love the sentiment below.

The next day, I spoke at Grayslake North High School's Spark Week. Here, many types of arts are explored with many speakers and performers.

At one of my presentations, I was introduced by two students who sang while one of them played the ukulele. I love ukulele! I own a ukulele! This student, though, played her ukulele much better than me. And both students sang much better than me. But, whatever...

Another one of my presentations had me introduced by an accordion and singing pirates. In this case, I have no relation to either the accordion or pirates.

I'm seeing these Writers Week and Spark Week ideas pop up more and more throughout the country, and I really hope it keeps growing. And I hope they keep inviting me!

The next day, I returned home. And I made it home in time to celebrate another beautiful holiday: April Fools' Day!

This year, my son and I made his likeness using a wig, Charlie Brown, and footie pajamas. In the morning, Isaiah told JoanMarie he was going out back to play, and when she and I opened the curtains a few minutes later, "Isaiah" was holding on by one arm to the roof's rain gutter.

Next year's prank is already being planned.

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