"I asked your boys if you were a plant person," she said. "They said no." My boys don't lie. I used to have plants... until the cats chewed every last one of them to bits. There's not a sprig of color in my landscaping, either, because DOGS. And now we have horses in our backyard. So, yeah, maybe someday I'll try to cultivate life again. Today is not that day. Well, except for the really pretty flower thing named after fruit.
The writer's group was great, of course. There was so much enthusiasm in that small group. Each of them had written questions on index cards and took turns reading them out loud. I made my boys blush by sharing the bits of "Daniel" based on them, which may be my favorite part of being invited to the school (but don't tell the boys). The teacher spun my answers so that they related to concepts she's been teaching the kids. She left out the part about drinking too much caffeine and popping Cinnamon Fire Jolly Ranchers like they're going out of style.
The writing group teacher bought copies for each of the kids who weren't able to buy a copy for themselves, so that was really sweet. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say that out loud, but she did it. I liked it. I'm telling you about it.
Then we had cake. Really, really good cake. Chocolate with that whipped cream frosting.
I may just sign books for her class, like, every day.
Next I spoke with my 10-year-old's class. They read the whole book, but they asked me to read a section out loud for them anyway. We agreed that the part about Whiskers in the tree was the perfect section. I got to talk like a robot and, for a few seconds, a cat spinning on a ceiling fan. My life is weird.
One of the kids asked how I came up with the character "Annie", Daniel's best friend. For several years, my son had only one very good friend, a girl who is still in his class. When I told the kids that I had based Annie on a girl they knew, I had to quickly make sure they knew she probably didn't eat worms.
I've said my life is weird, haven't I? Just checking.
My next stop was my eight-year-old's Second Grade class. They had only made it through eight pages of the book because their teacher hadn't been able to do more than that due to multiple family emergencies the month before. As expected, the kids weren't very excited about me being there. One girl, who spoke in a cute little whisper kept mentioning something about her mom writing a book about ninja ballerinas? At least, I think that's what she said. It was hard to hear over the class next door's Kidz Bop version of "Fireworks".
The teacher gave me her microphone thing and let me read a couple chapters of the book. Once I did that, the kids were much more excited about me and "Daniel the Draw-er". I got to use my acting skills to read as Daniel, Annie, Whiskers, Pi-zzabot, Tommy, Lila, Ms. Konkle, and Mr. & Mrs. A. It made me miss drama class.
One of the boys from the writing group was there for the reading, too, and he was actually finishing my sentences as I was reading. Like, from memory.
Wait. Do I have a fanboy? Because I really want some fanpeople. That's awesome.
All in all, 19 books found their new homes, and that makes me happy. I'm pretty sure it would have been more with more notice (or with more reading), but it was a good--and long--visit anyway.
And I got cake. Thumbs up, friends. Thumbs up.