H. Gregg and Kent Phillips Elementary Schools

seasonmaker.jpgPeople ask me all the time where I get the ideas for my books, and I don’t have a good answer. A good idea isn’t something that can be conjured up at a moment’s notice. It has to be stumbled upon.

Here’s an example: Last week I woke up in my hotel in Corning, NY, half asleep, one eye pinned shut by the pillow, and noticed this unusual knob on middle of the wall. It was old, no doubt left over from a previous incarnation of the hotel, and it was labeled the McQuay Seasonmaker. What a beautiful name! And what possibilities it suggested!

Needless to say, I didn’t turn the knob, or you, and the entire east coast, would have noticed. But what if I had?

Now there’s a good idea for a story.

I was in Corning to visit two schools, H. Gregg Elementary and Kent Phillips Elementary. It was a great trip, and my two hosts, Mrs. Robarge and Mrs. Wukovitz, took terrific care of me while I was there. The kids were amazing, well-prepared and full of good questions, and the walls of the school were lined with really fun artwork. There were digital paintings, a line of pinch-pots each containing precisely thirteen miniature beans, and drawings and paintings inspired by Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud.


It was an absolute treat from beginning to end, and I thank everyone, especially Mrs. Robarge and Mrs. Wukovitz, for all the hard work they put in to make it happen.