At this time of giving thanks and sharing gifts, I wanted to take a moment for a special shout-out from the bottom of my heart.
It’s been a year of learning with two books on their way to real. And it would never have happened without the amazing resources and staff at my local library. Public libraries are a gift that keeps on giving!
And who is responsible for the beginnings of our library system? The great Ben Franklin, one of the subjects of my debut picture book! So, it was only fitting that a few of his wise words be carved into a fundraising patio brick to commemorate my gratitude, lessons learned, and extreme appreciation.
I believe Ben was right…energy and persistence do conquer all things. He just left us to discover that “energy and persistence” require optimism, patience, resilience, willingness to learn, and being open to understanding that “conquer” may mean something other than our original intention. Such a clever fellow.
As I sit amongst piles of books working on my next project, I hope that someday the information sifted and blended into my vision will grow into a book, be honored to sit on a library shelf, and bring someone else all the delight and wonder that I felt as I worked on it. Full circle! Just like a great story.
Many thanks also to friends, family, and writing colleagues for all the moral support, inspiration, and honest feedback that sends me back to rework, revise, re-envision.
I wish you all much energy and perseverance!
AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET: BEN FRANKLIN AND NOAH WEBSTER’S SPELLING REVOLUTION, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, Sept. 25, 2018