My New Blog Plan

I’m not the most organized of folks. I try, I really do. And one thing that keeps/kept me from blogging on a schedule is that I really have this feeling that no one reads me. I’m not on anyone’s blog roll as far as I know, and though I get some lovely comments from the people who do read me, for some reason it feels like they’re the only ones.
Now, before you start playing a violin for me, I learned about Google Analytics from my good friend Karen Romano Young last night. I checked it out, and it turns out a LOT of people are reading me.
So first, thanks! Second, I feel quite buoyed by these numbers so I’m feeling committed to a blogging schedule. From now on, I”m going to add an entry at least once a week. Let’s say every Wednesday. I’ve even added it to my iCal, with TWO, count ’em, TWO alarm reminders.
I may think of something I want to say at some other point in the week, but for now, I will blog at least once a week.
Wow. Commitment. Scary. But here you go, my first Wednesday blog (and it will be included in my Every-So-Often Newsletter (if you want to sign up for it, email me at
I have a huge idea I’m working on. For a long, long time I’ve been trying to figure out how to help schools that have no funds for author visits. I truly believe that hosting an author visit is one of the best things we can do for kids because it connects them to books in much more powerful ways than simply reading them – it gives kids an appreciation of the process that creates the books they love and offers them the opportunity to interact with a professional author/illustrator, thereby modeling this career possibility.
There is also a ripple effect – the kids meet the author, get a book signed by them, and they love that book. That love translates to other books, and they begin to treasure all books. The end result is that it significantly forwards literacy efforts. Not to mention…it’s fun!
So this idea of bringing authors to kids whose schools can’t afford it has been rummaging around in my brain, especially after Katrina. Then I read an article in People magazine about the only school in the 9th district in New Orleans to have opened since the storm. I started thinking about how I could afford to offer them a gratis author visit – forget my honorarium, just paying for the flight and travel costs is prohibitive for me, and for most children’s authors. I do gratis visits near me but I’m just one person and can’t “spread the (literacy) word” just on my own.
Then I started fantasizing about setting up a foundation to help inner city and other disadvantaged kids by bringing authors to their schools. I’ve done some research and haven’t found any dedicated organization. There are certainly grants that schools can apply to, and various clubs and people who do this, which is great, but I envision something that is nationally based.
I have lots of ideas about getting publishers involved, and of course, I know a million authors. I don’t know how it would work except that I think the authors involved need to earn their honorariums, making it a win-win for both authors and schools.
This idea is not being done on a large, national scale. When I think about what it costs v. what the payoff for kids is, it seems soooo doable.
Don’t know if I’ll ever accomplish it, but I’m going to try. Last night I dreamed about it, and it was called The Nutjob Foundation. Maybe that’s my inner brain telling me I’m crazy to try! In my half-sleep I thought it was a brilliant moniker, but I’m pretty sure I won’t name it The Nutjob Foundation, because who would contribute? Who would trust it?!
But imagine, a national organization that would fund author visits to schools that couldn’t afford it, paying the authors their full honorarium plus expenses. I can’t think of a downside. Can you?
I want to hear all ideas.

Recent Comments

  • kborn
    September 10, 2008 - 4:29 pm · Reply

    Ooh, that’s a good idea! I don’t know how the details would work, but maybe they could. I’ll try to brainstorm as my life as a SAHM with my neverending list of things to do! 🙂 And you’re on my blogroll! 🙂

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