It’s nearly been a year since I started blogging in earnest, thanks to Caroline Starr Rose, an author friend who I have never met in person, but with whom I feel a great kinship nonetheless.
A year ago Caroline invited some of her readers to review her then-new middle grade verse novel, Blue Birds, and this week marks its paperback publication! To celebrate, you can try your luck at snagging a free copy as well as these gorgeous notecards, so visit Caroline’s blog and read the details about reFacebooking/reTweeting and otherwise re-social-mediaizing on the theme of friendship using the hashtag #BlueBirdsbook from now until January 8th. You can read my review here, and if you do, I invite you to take a tour around the earlier blog posts…TL, DR…I’ll admit, since we’re talking about the topic of friendship here, that I specifically restructured the blog leading up to my Blue Birds review so that I could have a decent place to show off her book. Yeah. The book really is that good and Caroline really is that special. It was a wonderful excuse to revamp so I could create a space for writerly thoughts. Because that’s what friends – especially virtual friends – do.
But why go through so much work for someone I’ve never *really* met? This author of May B., Over in the Wetlands, Blue Birds, and two poetry anthologies holds a special place in my heart for a unique reason – Caroline provided our first-ever author Skype at the library. One of our patrons entered our book group in the “May B. Book Club Kit Giveaway” in honor of Caroline’s first verse novel, May B., and her essay won! (Fun Fact: this patron many years later is now my Library Trustee Chair)
I was eager to bring innovative programming to our community, and with limited funding, an in-person author visit wasn’t possible. But an author visit over Skype was possible…And We Won…! Caroline was charming, gracious, truthful and just about everything a librarian wishes for in an author visit. I can speak for all of us in Libraryland, that if you’re an author and you’ve done something incredible for Libraries (or even something that seems small to you, it’s incredible to us), you’ve got a Friend For Life.
I admit that virtual friendship with this author is mostly on my side, but such is life in the Interwebby generation, and frankly, my work and work schedule is so intense that just the idea of a real-life Girl’s Night Out is kind of intimidating and exhausting and I’m all the more happy to uphold my virtual end and kick back at home and see my family. Nevermind that she lives on the other side of the country. I mean, we did meet via Skype. Virtual friendships are incredible because we get to meet or stay in touch with people distantly out of our geographic location. I’m thrilled with her continued success as if it were my own.
It’s probably my selfishness bubbling up again, but I thoroughly enjoy a cool intersection that includes books, writing, libraries, kids, and running but also manages to connect on more obscure topics of faith. Meeting (including virtually meeting) intelligent, creative moms in the church who are answering a call of creativity resonates with me because…well…that’s me too…around my work schedule and family responsibilities…and simple things like sleep. Meeting “mom authors” doesn’t happen that often so when it does I go into extreme fangirling mode….
*Gains control. Raises coffee mug*
So, my dear, Caroline, here’s to enough success to warrant Blue Birds‘ paperback release…and to much continued success in 2016! Wishing you many blessings. I’m honored to be in the same tribe.