Friday, March 6, 2009

Slice of Life

The other day, my partner here (Bill) and I were standing at the Port Columbus airport, looking for James Preller (of Jigsaw Jones, Six Innings, and Along Came Spider fame). That's not as crazy as it sounds. James (we now call him Jimmy!) was coming to our school for an author visit.

As Bill and I stood in the deserted terminal, wondering if Jimmy's flight was delayed because of the powerhouse storm in the east last week, we had to keep pinching ourselves. We couldn't believe our good fortune. Two teachers from Dublin, Ohio, had originally met James Preller via reviews that we had both written. It started as a fun correspondence back and forth on our blogs. Then, Jimmy actually interviewed US at one point -- again, US being just two teachers from Dublin who happen to love books and write about them on a blog. Then, Bill was able to secure James Preller for a 2 day author visit, one day where he would do writing workshops with the intermediate students.

Well, life just continued to get better. Jimmy managed to make his connection in Detroit, and pretty soon I'm hugging and kissing a man I've never met in person before that night. It quickly became clear to both Bill and me that Jimmy was just as excited about meeting us as we were about meeting him. How fun is that?!

We drove him to his hotel, and then the three of us decided to spend some time chatting over drinks. We talked about a wide variety of topics, including our children (all three of us have children, and we each have one in high school). We shared titles of books and talked about the Newbery winners. We talked about the potential uses of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

But, the main thing that struck me throughout this experience was how our blogs had connected us in the beginning, and our inter-connectedness (is that even a word?) has continued. How fortunate we are in this blogging community to get to know people we might not otherwise have an opportunity to do so.

I know Bill and I (and many of our colleagues!) feel very fortunate to have gotten to know the man who is the author. I'm so glad Jimmy was able to make his connection, and Bill and I were there to greet him!!


  1. I think it is fascinating how blogging can make you feel like you know a person. I find myself saying, "Meg said that she had lunch with Judy Blume" just as if Meg Cabot and I talk all the time! I really enjoy reading a few authors' blogs and may have stumbled across James Preller's blog through your blog. I love his fan mail letters. Since I teach second graders I am certainly familiar with Jigsaw Jones. Keep writing! I enjoy reading your book blog. :-)

  2. What a wonderful experience for you. I loved reading and sharing it with you.

  3. What a special visit!! I have spent lots of time with James Preller's work this year as I have a group of kiddos that love Jigsaw. I didn't know he blogged and can't wait to share it with them!!

  4. Very cool post. The internet again proves its worth! Author visits are such a great part of working in schools. And when it's an author you really respect? Things don't get much better.