I spent most of the school year when I was 10 hiding out at the school library. Not really hiding out: my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Jarosz and I had what my mom described as a "personality difference."
It's happened several times since: I meet someone and, AbracaBADra: I'm unable to say anything without offense; my attempts to reverse course only make it worse, and--ugh. It's weird. It seems chemical. It's inexplicable and powerful.
But the fifth grade, a person has fewer options.
Luckily, we had a library in the cool old elementary school. And inside the doors of the library—a couple of wonderfully kind librarians who helped me learn the card catalog and the shelves, and best yet, taught me how to follow my curiosity from book to book to book.
After being "Present" for roll-call, I'd agree with Mrs. Jarosz that I might go to the library. Until lunch.
After lunch, I'd get the nod again.
I'm sure I missed learning something in class, but I couldn't tell you what it was. My seven-times table, maybe, I'm still foggy on 7x8 versus 6x8.
So my love for libraries runs deep. And part of my lifetime writing dream has been to see my own book on those shelves.
I do understand, with the perspective of decades of library visits under my belt, that the shelves of a library are not immortal. Titles churn through and are lost to library fundraising sales.
But then again: a book in the library...that's something.
I dutifully submitted a copy of She Taught Me Everything to the local county public library system, but while awaiting the thumb up or down, I noticed this...
Looks like the system has already purchased an e-book copy, and THERE ARE SIX PEOPLE IN LINE to get it!
Well, how about that? I wish I could share this joy with the librarians who helped me through 5th grade.
Meanwhile, should you be so inclined, ask your library to order a copy -- not only with it bring joy, it might bring you a useful gift card.
The first photo of She Taught Me Everything on your public library shelf gets a prize!
To celebrate the first month of publication of She Taught Me Everything, I made up a "Face in the Place Photo Contest."
My dear readers sent in photos of themselves reading the book.
There were a gratifying lot of photos -- some people included pets, others snapped the picture unlikely settings, many included libations and snacks. It was heartwarming.
I put those images into a montage -- with music! oooh! It was so much fun I did it twice.
Truth be told, I'd like to have done the one and be done, but the cool music track didn't track across social media gaps, so we have us a TikTok edition and an Instagram one too.
My favorite skipper picked a name from a hat (my actual hat) to chose the lucky random winner of the Face in the Place contest.
And the lucky winner was...Kathy Lacey. We did a handoff of the loot (a gas card) in a grocery store parking lot. Not sketchy at all!
And because of his bold choice of photo shoot, Mr. Mark Taylor earned himself a viewer's choice award. A gas card!
It was great fun for me, and I hope my shutterbug readers enjoyed it as well.
I'd like to do another contest. I'm a fan of fabulous prizes from way back –– any suggestions for ways to award such things?
At the end of the first month of publication (a Onemonthuary!), in celebration of mah sweet, generous readers...we have a contest.
Face in the Place Photo Contest, to be exact.
Pretty simple: snap a photo of yourself (or an innocent bystander) book in hand, and send it my way. I'll randomly select at least one of the entrants for a gift card prize, and the photos will go into a video montage.
So you get world fame (smallish world, but still), a possible prize (it's worthwhile), and it gives the book a boost. Winning all around.
Send the photo to me directly or upload it into this public Facebook photo album, https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=amysmithlinton&set=a.10232263802757822
Or, you know, drop me a line, and we'll figure out a way to include you.