“Because without the bitter, baby, the sweet ain’t as sweet.”- Vanilla Skies, Jo Knowles, and Leaving Las Vegas…

I have things to say, things that well up inside of me and just, poof, need help getting out. Writing was the one single thing I have always loved, yet put on the shelf for the sake of being there 100% for those around me.  Now I find myself, taking down that box, dusting off the cover, and moving things inside around to make room for the time the have waited.  Writing, be it Nano (which I am very much behind on!), Conferences, or in other forums, is singly the most important function and activity to me as a person.  In order to preserve what others mean to me, what others have done for me and how they have influenced me, I need to exercise the room to write.  Period.  No if’s and, or buts to crowd out the experiences that have stunned so many when I retell these stories.  These stories are the life we live and help us get through the next day, as well as celebrating what we have to live for every day.  Writing for me is the eternal pool of youth that keeps me in the game and keeps me always in touch with so many events and moments, moments that keep me ticking.

Leaving Las Vegas I have these moments to reflect on and be thankful for:  Sending back home over 50+ Young Adult Books, High School and Middle School, that have all been autographed by authors, over 900.00 in value and authors set up to visit us at ASF – contacts with several publish companies, and schools that are highly interested and excited about submitting to Repentino., attending the National Writing Project, NCTE 2012 Conference and presenting at two very highly publicized (and streamed on the web!) topics that affect and help educators in the classroom, attending the third Conference, ALAN and receiving content to disperse to educators that align themselves with the goals, objectives, and curriculum that aligns with their content area, and getting students excited in the process, ideas for three new YA novels I started writing thanks to NANO last year, meeting my high school and college friends from Slippery Rock and even further back, home room in high school, meeting and establishing over 15 new contacts of individuals to help with leadership in ALAN, NCTE, and the National Writing Project in the future, preparing a manuscript and proposal for workshop presentation for NCTE 2013 in Boston, and yes, this is just touching the surface.

It is bitter-sweet that I am here in the airport, 9:24 AM, waiting for my 12:29 flight, yet, this is the opportunity to catch up and meet the goals and objectives I set out to do before returning officially home.

I miss my dog, I miss my cats, I miss Mexico.  I so much miss my students, can you believe it?  I miss them so much, they are such a part of how I cope and energize each day, and overall, I love the fact I am so immersed with them.  Additionally, the students I plan to reunite with in Seaford, this makes me highly excited to be able to reconnect and see their progress as they are now getting into college and being successful, sometimes even more successful than I imagined them to be.

I met Jo Knowles, and have her book, See You at Harry’s in my lap, I love it.  Young Adult Lit, (YA) is some of the most amazing books ever, and Jo Knowles is one of those authors that ranks is a category that writes to catch you and wrap you in her story.  (Despite it having my name as the title).  Writing in my book, “For Harry, (heart) YAY!  All will be well” she sums up so much to be thankful for.  (You sense a Thanksgiving thank you, coming, right?)

For today, I will work on NANO, enjoy a Thanksgiving alone to catch up, reflect, and gather my thoughts, as well as to realize, this trip is yet another injection of what is possible, when you want to reach the stars, and bring others with you.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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