I have a lot to unpack in this post. I want to tell you all about my recent school visit trip up in the NH area, update you on the RV search and touring information, and talk about my new book and why I think I decided to write it - even more reasons than before.
First up! My school visits!
I have not had a full week of school visits in over three years because of Covid. Since Covid, I have written and published 21 books, moved houses, combined my household into a multi-generational one to include my parents and brother-in-law on our 5-acre piece of heaven called Whatif Acres, helped my daughter and son-in-law move from Texas into our rental house three miles away, and became a Mimi to the sweetest baby in the whole wide world!
I also decided I was done with all that travel. I was tired and my family needed me. But as life as settled and my niece Kaitlin is moving down here in July, I realized I've created a huge support system and could travel a bit again - because you know what?
I MISSED MY CHILDREN. I missed the children and the energy and the love I find at every school visit. I miss the magical moments I see on the faces of the children as I talk to them and show them my art.
I miss the moments when a child, overcome with joy, hope, and inspiration from my words I've shared, comes up to me and gives me a giant bear hug because they SO NEEDED TO HEAR MY MESSAGES.
And I got ALL OF THAT back last week. I cannot thank my new booking agent and partner, Beth for all her hard work and wanting to help book all my visits from now on. None of us do this alone, and Beth is my magic touch. She makes my visits run smooth like butter so I can do what I do best - talk with the children.
I missed it more than I even realized!
Which brings me to my next subject!
I jokingly threw out to my husband when he came with me to Illinois and we had so much fun together that we should get a travel trailer, hitch it to my Monster Truck and he should go with me on tour this summer and then for school visits.
To which he shocked me by replying that he would love that. I told him not to play with me. After he assured me he was serious, I told him, "You better be, because THIS IS HAPPENING!"
And now I have 3 weeks booked in the fall, and 10 days planned on the road in July so far. Before we have even test driven anything! LOL! I do NOT PLAY!
After even just beginning research, we realized My little Baby Monster Truck was not going to be up for the job:
I was gonna need to trade in my ADORABLE Baby Monster for a Big Mama Monster Truck!
Then after even more research, we realized what makes the most sense is to buy a motorhome and tow a smaller car behind it. So next week we are going to be looking at motorhomes and trading in my Monster Truck for a Monster Car!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller
It is PRETTY exciting y'all!!
Which brings me to updates on Life is as Magical as You Make It.
My editor will be getting it back to me any day now. I have been working on the layout and interior design. Preorders on my website are coming in, I have a few trickling in for the Kindle on Amazon and I will be announcing where I will be doing readings and book signings this summer!
I've been thinking a lot about why I decided to write this book and how it literally spilled out of me so effortlessly. It was like turning on a faucet and the words poured out. I know it was because I needed to remind myself of my own magic.
But then I saw a tweet someone tagged me in and I realized why else I wrote it. It was a tweet that broke my heart:
I’ve often said that the popularity of this particular book of mine actually breaks my heart. To be this needed is a sign of intense crisis.
This book has been in print for over 10 years. When I thought of this book I was SURE there was a Whatif Monster that already existed. There wasn't. Today? There are so many versions of Whatif Monster and books like mine. It is because they are ALL NEEDED. Different books and different voices relate to different children. How sad that books to help children, SMALL CHILDREN deal with such horrible fears and anxieties are so needed now?
After reading this tweet I realized another reason I decided to write Life is as Magical as You Make It. It’s a trauma response to the state of the world today, mostly the United States.
We are banning BOOKS from schools in school systems where children are not even reading at grade level.
We are making laws that will criminalize teachers for giving BOOKS to children.
We are refusing to create common sense gun laws - my state (Florida) just voted on a bill to LET 18 YEAR OLDS BUY GUNS! THE SAME 18 YEAR OLDS THEY WON'T LET READ SOME BOOKS.
MAKE IT MAKE SENSE!
My new book is my desperate plea to the ADULTS to remember what living on this earth is REALLY about.
Life is about loving each other, respecting each other, accepting each other's differences and not imposing our beliefs on others - it is about community and connection.
It is about finding joy and magic in your life and sharing your joy and magic with others to help them find their joy and magic.
This world might break my heart over and over and over again, but it will NOT break my spirit. And I will not stop trying to change it for the better.
And I sure as heck will NEVER stop talking to children and begging them to listen to their HEARTS and trust themselves.
Because at this point, my only hope is that the children we are raising will grow and change what the adults - who were supposed to protect them - broke.
And I pray they don't hate us all too much for what we are making them go through right now.
If they do end up hating us all? I think we'll deserve it.