Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chicken Little

Key West -- this adorable chick(en) in New Hampshire has been given my name, with my blessing. She's going to visit classrooms to promote reading.

Look! "Judy Blume" is wearing a crown in this photo.

This is what Wendy Thomas-- (as heard on NH public Radio and seen on WMUR Channel 9, Wendy has also been a guest on the Chicken Whisperer’s radio show and has been featured in Parenting NH, Backyard Poultry, Woman’s Day, and Reader’s Digest for her chicken stories and adventures in thrift) wrote to me:

When it came time to choose our “Judy Blume” chick, there was no discussion. The answer was obvious. Remember the smallest little Amberlink chick who got sick after one of her sisters died? The one that we put into a chick ICU box to keep her safe and warm? The little girl I held warm to my chest clucking to her softly, giving her encouragement to continue?

This is the chick that beat the odds and survived.

She is still the smallest of all her sisters but this little chick has spirit, pluck, and a heart bigger than all of the White Mountains in her new state. She’s independent, clever, strong, and still likes to snuggle down while you cluck gentle endearments into her ear.

Really, was there any other chick that would do?

It is with great honor and joy that I introduce to you the newest named addition to our flock: “Judy Blume”.

Here are the "Good Egg" questions Wendy asks before you get a chick named for you, with my answers.

Good Egg Judy Blume’s Interview

What is the best advice an older relative or family member gave you?

My father told me to live life to the fullest, to make every day count. I try to remember that.

If you were given one wish to use anyway you wanted, what would you wish for?

A decent life for kids everywhere, where they have hope for the future and can dream about what they want to be when they grow up, knowing that anything is possible.

If you were allowed the use of a large billboard over a well traveled road, what would you put on the billboard?

Reading will change your life!

What’s the passion that drives you to get up every morning?

My work — knowing that today could be the day it all comes together. Unless it’s a Friday — then it’s tap dance class.

What is your ideal dinner? What would you eat and with whom would you share it?

Pasta with fresh veggies, a crunchy green salad, and a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery (in NY) — served at home in Key West under a starry sky, with my husband George for company, and Ella playing in the background.

Do you have any favorite chicken stories or memories?

Since I live in Key West, where chickens roam freely and are protected by law – I have more than one chicken story. My favorite is the day my husband was at the Post Office. When he returned to our Jeep and opened the door he found a newly laid egg in the driver’s seat. He brought it home, cooked it and ate it! Everyone who lives here can tell you a chicken story. We’re probably the most chicken friendly town in the US.

Thanks for being such a Good Egg Judy!

Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalian, bestselling authors, also have chickens named for them. Wendy's chickens are egg producers. They will never be eaten. She promises they'll live the good life in rural New Hampshire. Well, they may have to go to school but they won't have to worry about their grades.

They'll just promote reading (and maybe egg laying?)

Our very own "Judy Blume" chick.

Speaking of class visits, I was able to visit two schools last week without leaving my desk, thanks to Skype. I love to meet my readers but when you have a hectic schedule and live in faraway Key West (and don't like to fly) Skype makes it possible. I spent time with a lively 4th grade class in Birmingham, Michigan, and with the students at an elementary school outside Louisville, Kentucky. All the kids had questions for me.

As more teachers get used to the technology I expect to make more classroom visits via Skype. We had some technical difficulties for sure. For a while all I could see of the Kentucky school was the ceiling in the cafeteria. And when I saw the video of the Michigan visit I found out there was a delay in my response to their questions. But it was still a very fun morning. And inspiring. Well worth the effort on all our parts.

Tomorrow we leave for almost a month in New York. I'm getting anxious -- not about leaving but about the last minute packing up and the event filled schedule that will keep me hopping. Stay tuned and I'll let you know about:

The New Jersey Hall of Fame
The Children's Choice Awards - there's still time to vote for your favorites
The Harvard Lampoon (where I'm being "lampooned")
Receiving an honorary degree at Rutgers University
Most Important of All -- Elliot's Graduation from High School!

Plus catching up with friends, seeing editor and agent, and taking advantage of all the city has to offer. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it all.

Will try to post blogs along the way -- or at least tweets. Enjoy the merry month of May!