Daisies in December

Daisy Troop Author Visit 3Tempus fugit!

Doesn’t it seem like a moment ago you we’re still preparing for Thanksgiving? Suddenly the first week of December is nearly gone and the days are filled with (often canned and corny, but I love it!) holiday music programming and the (sometimes welcome) predictions of snow!

For me, a lot intervened between the wonderful cap to my fall activities and appearances involving the publication of my first book, Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes, and posting these wonderful images of my visit with lively Daisy Troop 20113 in Nutley, New Jersey, at the end of November.

Daisy Troop Author Visit 4Thanksgiving celebrations, editorial deadlines, not to mention a week-long bout with flu-like exhaustion have kept me buried in work and tissues, but I’m back and ready to run the race to 2013’s finish line!

While I’ve been working against an impending journal deadline and refilling the humidifier, the Elf on the Shelf has made his cheeky yearly reappearance and Christmas lights have gone up everywhere. It’s a favorite part of the season for me—nothing makes the mundane more magical than sparkling  strings of blinking, winking lights. And if you can nearly see such lawn displays from outer space, all the better!

Having decided to enjoy all the little moments this holiday season, thankful even for every gimcrack and bauble, I’m happy to be a witness to the unfolding process of celebration. I tend to be a nose-to-the-grindstone type of individual and while the fall was a wonderful first-time author whirlwind, I often put (I admit) enjoying it all last on my list. When I sit back and look at these pictures, I’m reminded of how joyous these feisty young Daisies were—throwing themselves into participating in the troop’s activities, unafraid to ask questions, join in, and not worry about making mistakes. The meeting focused on recycling and as a compliment to the lesson, we created a cornucopia, collage-style like Susan Swan’s gorgeous illustrations in Pick a Circle, using materials like leaves cut from old magazines and wrapping paper fruit.

Daisy Troop Author Visit 6The girls were game, and so were their parents, including several fathers, which is always great to see. I’d like to thank the troop leader, Francesca Ciotoli (also my youngest sister) for inviting me to meet with the troop, and especially to my niece Ava, who read Pick a Circle beautifully to her sister Daisies!

While I’m looking forward to a bit of a long winter’s rest, I’m also thankful for what lies ahead, for my family, and for the appearance of my second book in March 2014, Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting, and the third book in the series, which arrives next September. That book, by the way, is getting a new title and new last stanza—so it’s back to work!

Here’s wishing you safe and peaceful travels on your own journey to 2014!

Daisy Troop Author Visit 5

Who knows what treasures lay ahead for each of us?

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