An old school desk, a chalkboard I managed to hang by my five-year-old self, and a stack of books next to the water heater was the beginning of my “Once upon a time …”
After college I found larger classrooms to organize and made sure each one of my students, no matter their age, had a book with them at all times. I figured if I wasn’t available, a book would help keep the peace. And it always did.
Over the course of a twenty-five year teaching career (closer to thirty if you count furnace-room days), I figure I read millions of books, some two or three million times, to millions of kids—give or take a million or two (not to mention the millions I read to my own two children, and now to my six grandchildren).
Bottom line—books were this teacher’s best friend and it was my goal to make sure everyone had friends. Lots of them. To love.
During this time I collected addresses across the country, sometimes living like country-mouse and sometimes like city-mouse, and hauling more books with every move. I couldn’t bear to leave these friends behind.
When I closed the classroom door for the last time, I opened a new door to the world of writing. In flooded on-line writing communities, local support groups, conferences, critique groups, mentors and, of course, books about and for writers.
Then after years of crying, doubting, and questioning my sanity (thankfully, my husband still loves me), I somehow managed to land an agent, win a contest and keep those little faces that once filled my classrooms in view, which is why I keep at it, hoping to add to the storehouse of stories that inspire, comfort, guide, and bring joy and laughter to all of us. (Whoa—better revisit that podcast on sentence length!)
Thanks for visiting but I gotta run . . . I have ideas to plant, characters to grow, and stories to bloom.
After all, one can never have too many friends.
Karen Condit earned her Master of Arts Degree in Instruction and Curriculum in Reading and Writing.
Her story, He Is There, won 1st Place Children’s Picture Book Blue Seal Award at the 2018 Write to Publish Conference.
For a signed copy of her picture book, Turtle on the Track, order from www.orangehatpublishing.com!