For many years, I have been a fan of Teaching Tolerance, a magazine published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Alabama to raise awareness about issues pertaining to tolerance, peace, racism, gender equity, and related topics. This spring I served on an awards judging panel for the Association of Educational Publishers with Maureen Costello, director of SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program. I mentioned to her that I would love to write for Teaching Tolerance magazine sometime, and she put me in touch with Sean Price, one of the magazine’s editors. Sean and I traded e-mails for a few months, and I have just been assigned to write an article on encouraging student activism for an upcoming issue.

I’m sitting here this morning feeling really fortunate that I can earn money exploring a fascinating subject like this and bringing information about it to a wide range of teachers throughout the world. The background research I’ve been doing for the article has been often inspiring and sometimes heart-rending. When the article is finished, I’ll let everyone know how to access it.

I’m moving forward on some book projects as well. We were enjoying the cool August evenings in Maine last week, and I spent some time editing my still untitled book of beach poems for children. This is a project I started about a dozen years ago, but I wasn’t able to find a home for it with a commercial publishing house. I’ve totally rewritten most of the poems, and I’m now looking at producing it as a self-published project.

My poems will be paired with wonderful photographs taken by my friend Lisa Goodman, an accomplished professional photographer. I was in a writer’s group with Lisa about five years ago, and when I saw some of her beach photographs I knew they would make the perfect accompaniment to my poems. This summer we’ve finally had time to pursue that idea, and it’s been really gratifying to see the project begin to come together. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Random Thought of the Week: I went back and forth last week in Maine between feeling guilty that I spent a chunk of my vacation working and feeling guilty that I wasn’t getting more work done. After all, as a self-employed writer/editor, if I don’t work I don’t eat. In the end, I decided that I had struck a good balance between work and fun. Besides, when working involves spending a few hours in the Bangor Public Library, one of my favorite places on Earth, it’s not really working anyway!

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