Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lynn Middle School Revisited

You know how we lie to ourselves when we enter bookstores? We say to ourselves that we won’t but anything, we’re only going to look?

We love to browse through new books (used ones too, but that’s a different story).

We love to look at the images on the front covers, we read titles and the blurbs on the backs covers, and sometimes we open the book and read the first paragraph, just to see if it grabs our attention.

Some people like the smell of new books,
and they hold them like an oxygen mask over their faces and take in the smell

I like to read the first sentences of books, and if I it blows me away, I read the first paragraph, and if that blows me away, the first page, and if that blows me away, etc.

In spite of my promises, I leave bookstores with at least one new book for our shelves, sometimes several.

As will happen, I often forget about these books for many years.

But somehow, my soul must have known what I was doing, why I choose that particular book.

One day, years later maybe, a decade later, I pull that book off of the shelf and read it, and it somehow seems like the most appropriate thing for me to read at that time.

Like it was meant to be.

Like it was exactly what I needed to read.

That’s not a mistake, that’s not a coincidence, that’s not chance. That’s my soul knowing.

Even when I don’t know it, my soul me, the spiritual me, somehow knows that a particular book will be important to me.

There are several books on our shelves that I have yet to read, but I know I will, and I know when I read them, it’ll be right.

Remember those great kids at Lynn Middle School who lined up to buy my books after I visited their school? (See the blog entry called Benediction below)

I imagined these kids might wait a while before they read them, but it seems these kids couldn’t wait.

Their teacher, Lisa Weinbaum, wrote me an email.

As sweet as your blog is, Daniel, your book is not sitting idly on a bookshelf waiting to be read. Most of the kids have already read it.

A girl named Caitlyn read it twice.

Well, every month I have the kids do book projects. Basically they can make ANYTHING to represent their book, then they talk about the book to the class. Caitlyn finished And the Shadows Took Him, not once, but twice. She sculpted this herself. Man, is it heavy, too.

See the head inside the basket?

She clearly read the novel, and if you have read and the shadows took him, you know from where in the novel she got this idea.

You know about the father and his collection of heads.

When I was still writing the novel I considered calling it Father of 1,000 Heads.

If we ever come out with a third printing, Caitlyn’s art work would make a great cover, wouldn't it?

She captured part of the novel's soul with her art.


Smorg said...

If only those 1,000 heads could help you read the books on the shelves, ay? ;o) I have the same problem whenever I walk by the local used bookstore. One of these days I'll clear out my reading list!

Cheers, :o)

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Caitlyn. I remeber making that head, i was at my grandpas house during the weekend and the book project was due that monday. I had already been thinking about what i was going to do but i didnt think it would come out so big or beautiful, but i guess it is in my blood. My family is Native American Indian, the women are potters and the men are painters. But anyways, while i was making it, i must have sculpted and re-sculpted the mouth and nose, but there is a reason i didnt put the eyes, when my mom makes the pottery and the people, she never puts eyes. So i decided not to put the eyes to kinda follow the tradition. But now the head is im Ms. Wienbaums house, resting with no eyes.
P.S. You have inspired me to write more and i love to because i guess it is a part of me.
Caitlyn Concha
Oh, yeah. sorry i have not written on this sooner, i kept forgetting... cuz im a dorkish loser... =] jk