For me, that's taken many guises over the years and I still threaten to chuck it all and go pack gift baskets at the Whole Foods. I seriously think I'd be kind of good at that.
In the meantime, though, school visits.
They're a pretty natural fit.
Write for children? Take your books to them.
Right, except for the fact that teachers are given less and less discretionary time to devote to these sorts of non-standards-based enrichment activities. And PTAs, librarians and districts are likely to see less and less discretionary funding made available for the same.
I'm lucky in that I actually love doing school visits.
They exhaust but inspire me and remind me of exactly what it is I'm doing and why.
Still, I've got to get in the door.
Which is why I've spent some time lately working with the most excellent Natalie Lorenzi -- children's author, freelance writer, teacher and creator of curriculum guides for authors.
In a previous life, I'm pretty sure Natalie was Rumplestiltskin.
She is given an ordinary book and somehow spins all sorts of related, standards-based activities out of it.
And they're not boring!
They're creative, fun, hands-on and, if you ask me, worth their weight in gold.
She's done one for my first book and, before long, she will have finished one for my second, due out late summer. And I'm immensely grateful, because I think they just may be the key to staying pertinent in the eyes of educators -- even while recognizing the duel demons of testing and budget constraints.
If you're a teacher or librarian and would like to see my curriculum guide, click here.
(I don't have it up on my web site yet, but I will as soon as I can figure that out...)
If you're an author and you're curious, go to Natalie's site, where you can look at mine and at least one other sample.
I think you'll agree that she works a certain sort of magic. And I'm betting that her waiting list is about to get loooong, so make haste.
And if you're neither teacher, librarian nor author and you're still reading, bless you.
You're probably related to me and I owe you one.
More thrilling news in the life of a writer girl tomorrow...