November 4, 2009

Out to Lunch?

Woman cannot live by books alone. Sometimes, she needs to eat actual food. And sometimes she needs to eat that food in a giant room with balloons and music and hundreds of other literacy-loving people.

Today, I took a break from scribbling to attend the National Family Literacy Day Celebration Luncheon with my fabulous, fun friend, Riley Roam. We sat next to a woman who has been a teacher and principal longer than I've been alive.

We were treated to a ballet based on Eric Carle's book, From Head to Toe.

Then a woman came to the podium and reminded me -- reminded everyone in the room -- the transformative power of words, of books, of reading. She said she was from Mexico and is the single mother of a seven-year-old boy. She said she chose to join a program offered at her son's school -- Parent Power. There, this woman studied hard and learned English. Then, she worked a little harder and got her G.E.D. Now, because of her efforts and choices and a scholarship, she is heading off to college.

I nearly cried right into my mixed greens salad.

This woman was a great reminder of how important language is, of how words have the power to transform lives.

I came home after the luncheon and got right back to work (after an itty bitty nap).

Hooray to those who work hard to increase literacy . . . and for those who are following, here are today's numbers:

Today's word count: 3,303
Total word count: 9,641
Goal: 50,000 words
Days remaining: 26


Today's Trivia Question: There are many types of phobias. Fear of public speaking or stage fright ranks among the most common. In fact, some people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. What is the technical name of a person who is afraid of public speaking or stage fright?

Answer to Yesterday's Trivia Question: There are 516,000 bacteria per square inch in the human armpit. (This gross factoid appears in my next book, How to Survive Middle School. If that doesn't make you want to pre-order it, I can't imagine what will?!)

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