Today I had a book event/storytime at the Pruneyard location of the Books Inc bookstore in Campbell.
It was a lovely and sweet event with old friends and new friends, and Arthur's first grade teacher even made it to the event with her two girls.
I did my spiel, read the book, took questions, and we all made decorative headstones together. We wrote words and drew pictures with crayons to express how we felt about our Something Wonderfuls. And I also signed a few books, too.
Something else momentous happened today. A few weeks ago I recorded a podcast episode with Matthew Winner.
Matthew is the host of the Children's Book Podcast which used to be All the Wonders and, before that, it was called Let's Get Busy. The name has changed but the format and impact has remained just as deep and affecting as it ever did.
I have been listening to Matthew's podcast ever since I first started writing children's books. His voice, interviews, and sensitive deep dives into picture books sustained me in some bad and dispiriting times. As I listened, wrote, and hoped, I dreamed of one day getting my books published and possibly finally getting to talk to Matthew about one of those books on his podcast. It finally happened, and I feel so much joy, pride, and gratitude to be able to share it today.
I am especially touched by what Matthew says in his promotion of the episode: "Stephanie’s approach to the loss of your something wonderful is, in my opinion, the way we should always be seeking to respond: by seeing the child and by meeting them in their grief."
And I'll leave you with this quote from Matthew about The End of Something Wonderful because it's one of the best comments about the book yet: "I think we need to save that space for the subversive because the subversive is often just the stuff we're afraid to talk about or we don't have the vocabulary to talk about, and it's in these books that we find that space to do that."
I hope you'll listen. And I hope you'll read.
Thank you, Matthew.