It's always good to end the week on a positive note. Sometimes we concentrate on the negatives. We have a choice. Choose positive. Choose to celebrate. I will be joining Ruth Ayres and her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all the other celebrations HERE
It's hard to believe that it's the end of 2014. When I look back there are so many things to make me smile. I've come on an incredible journey this year.
This past week, I celebrated my one-year Twitter anniversary. In another week, it will be my one-year blogging anniversary. There is so much to celebrate.
I read so many amazing books this year. I started this year reading Natalie Lloyd's Snicker of Magic. It was the first book I held close to my heart this year. I started summer vacation reading Amber McRee Turner's Circa Now. I started our summer road trip reading Lisa Graff's Absolutely Almost. I got ready to start school by finishing Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener. And this fall I celebrated Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming. In between those amazing books were many, many other books. Some made me cry, some made me think. But they all made me a better person. I shared them with my daughter. It's a bond we have - reading together, reading and discussing. I shared them with students. I shared them with other readers, some close, some far. What a celebration.
This year brought me meeting and talking to many authors. I started this year going to Anderson's Children's Breakfast. It was an amazing day where I met and had conversations with Aaron Reynolds, Maggie Stiefvater, Laurie Keller, Jon Muth, Lin Oliver and Henry "The Fonz" Winkler!
I met Liesl Shirliff for the first time at a local library. We bonded over Cadbury mini-eggs!
This Spring I met several midwest authors including Liesl (again), Michele Weber Hurwitz and Amy Timberlake.
From there I met many more amazing authors at NerdCampMI - Liesl (again), Laurie Keller (again), Michele Weber Hurwitz (again), Jess Keating, and Nancy Cavanaugh. They were all amazing and gracious.
I skyped with amazing authors: Natalie Lloyd, Edith Cohn and Erin Soderberg.
Then NCTE happened. Liesl (yup, again), Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, Jacqueline Woodson (I could listen to her for hours), Lynda Mullaly Hunt (amazing speaker), Matt and Jenni Holm, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Kevin Sherry, Jennifer Nielson, Christopher Paul Curtis, August Scattergood, Kate Messner, Varian Johnson, Jonathan Auxier, and I'm sure I'm missing others. But the icing on the cake was at the Children's Luncheon. Long story short, I sat next to Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell was across from me. It was a Nerdy dream come true. What a celebration.
When I started my Twitter and blogging journey, I had no idea the friends I would meet. I can't possibly mention everyone. But now, I always have book friends with me. I know what they are reading because I follow them on Goodreads. They share their learning with me on Twitter. We share books, celebrations and ideas. We challenge each other. It's hard to believe I was not talking with these wonderful people a year ago. My life is richer because of them.
I love sharing my Monday and Wednesday reading and getting new book ideas. I thank Kellee, Ricki, Jen and Aly for setting it up for us every week. I always check and see what Carrie, Linda, Elisabeth, Gigi, Holly, Melissa, Beth, Franki, Katherine and many others are reading.
I met John, Travis, Niki and Dylan at the Anderson's Breakfast last year. These are people who I value their book opinions and enjoyed getting a chance to meet them face to face.
NerdCampMI gave me another chance to catch up with some of these same friends and meet more.
This summer brought many other opportunities to chat and learn from Twitter. I had great conversations about running and writing with Greg. I read a professional book and learned with Leigh Anne, Tara, Linda, Jana and Ramona. I had great conversations with other reading specialists like Cathy and Michelle. I love reading what Margie has to say about her reading.
Again, it all came together at NCTE. Spending time with Jason, Lesley and Melissa was more icing on the cake. I will always value the time I spent talking, laughing and learning with them. It's amazing how Twitter brought us all together.
And I cannot possibly end talk of friendship without mentioning my amazing colleague and partner in crime, Laura. I'm so fortunate to work with someone like her. Her mind works in amazing ways and sees things I don't. She makes me stop and think and I'm better because of it. I love that she's reading and talking about books with me. Everyone should be as fortunate as me to have someone like that to work with.
What a year.
What a celebration.