At the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts, we gathered around a table heaped with pink lollipops and paper hearts for the Valentine event: Kids Heart Authors--a signing at indie bookstores across New England. Our roundup included: Richard Michelson, D. Dina Friedman, Diane de Groat, Jeannine Atkins.
Everyone took turns reading in the cozy chair by the window. Dina's son, Raf, played his oboe under a blanket (or rather, Jeannine's sari) just like the composer, Paganini. I wondered if the music would summon snakes down the stairs. Instead, I looked up and spotted my boyfriend standing there. He had driven three hours that morning to surprise me.
After the event, we found old-timey typewriters perched on the street, poetry carved in the sidewalks and tree trunks, and people reading, reading, reading, at cafe tables or booths. No wonder I (heart) Massachusetts, the place where my parents grew up. Thanks to Mitali Perkins for starting this thing, Twitter-style, and to the indie bookstores who made it possible.