Going Viral while Cooking Up Stories

The past few weeks have been quite a shock for everyone, I’m sure. Not even my older friends or the senior citizens in my family have ever lived through a global pandemic. At this difficult time, it’s important to remember, I think, how lucky we are that this virus isn’t more virulent, and how fortunate some of us are to live in a part of the world where we can take our access to clean water and soap and food for granted.

Of course, not all of us, even in the United States, are doing well. So if you are a citizen of the United States, before I say anymore, I want to urge you, if you’re able, to consider donating to this organization, which is helping out with kids who are going hungry in the United States because of this global pandemic: NoKidHungry. As I’ve always said before, when I discussed THE BRIDGE HOME, hunger is a problem even here in the United States. It always has been. And now, because of this virus, it’s affecting more kids than before here – and, of course, all over the world. So, if anyone’s wondering if this virus is causing havoc, it is – globally. There are so many who are going to suffer so very much because of this pandemic, and we need to do all we can to prevent it from having an even greater negative impact.

Most understandably, of course, all my visits to schools and the festivals I was looking forward to this spring have been cancelled. Even the ceremony at which the Walters Award for Young Readers was to be presented for THE BRIDGE HOME was cancelled – and I completely understand, support and applaud WNDB’s decision.

Given I shan’t be seeing too many of you, thanks to the SCBWI, among other things, I’ve been inspired to create, with my child, a video we created, along with a Q & A about viruses (and explanations of exponential growth curves in her own words), a writing prompt and a recipe, and I’ll be posting one a day for 5 days, until next Wednesday, on my YouTube channel. Here’s the first one:

Next Wednesday, 25 March, I’m honored to’ve been invited by my dear author friend Sarah Aronson to be her guest on the Highlights Foundation‘s website for a #virtual community #HFGather interview at 10:00 a.m. United States EST.

As you know, I’ll continue to post a COOKING UP STORIES prompt, the first Friday of every month, paired with a recipe by Chef Amanda, also on the Highlights Foundation’s website (Foodie Fridays)! I hope you’ll enjoy the the most recent pairing, featuring MANGO, ABUELA AND ME by Meg Medina (illustrated by Angela Dominguez).

I’m hoping to do what little I can to help teachers and students around the world. On the 14th of April, I’ll be posting a writing challenge on Dr. Sarah J. Donovan’s website: www.ethicalela.com .

Before that, I’ll be doing a livestreaming session on the Virginia Children’s Book Festival’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vachildrensbookfestival so I hope to see you next week!

So stay safe, remember our moral responsibility is to act out of a sense of care for everyone around us. I really hope this difficult and unexpected challenge will help us come together as a world, so we may, with greater preparation and in a climate of peace, fight off some of the other challenges that face us in the future. For now, safety is all-important, and of the highest priority – so wash your hands, properly, isolate yourself physically as much as possible, learn what you can from reliable websites such as those belonging to the WHO, NIHCDC, or my dear old university Johns Hopkins, and remember that physical isolation doesn’t stop us from sending virtual hugs.

And if you have any questions, here’s a very short video (below) that shows you how to leave questions on this website. Briefly, here’s how you do it: 1. Click on the Blog Post’s Title (Either on this screen or on the right hand side column) and 2. You’ll be redirected to another screen featuring just this post. Scroll down, and you’ll see the box in which you may leave questions or comments. Thanks, everyone!




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