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December 2019


Breathe! That's my word for December. After months on the road, promoting Ordinary Hazards, I'm ready to rest and nest.

It's been great, yawl. Reading excerpts of Ordinary Hazards at bookstores, speaking at conferences, signing copies of my memoir at book festivals, connecting with friends who came out to support my events across the country—all good. Travels took me to Boston, Framingham, Cambridge, NYC, Chappaqua, Austin, Rochester, NY, Providence, RI, Maryland, Connecticut, Baltimore, Honesdale, and Washington, D.C. Whew!

I'm grateful to have launched my memoir at the Langston Hughes House, and sad that none of us will be able to again since those doors will be closing at the end of December. Sigh. What a blessing, though, for the time Renee Watson and I, Too, Arts Collective invited the community in with wonderful programs encouraging, teaching, and celebrating literary arts! Their good work will not be forgotten.

Time to turn my attention to the future, which means work! I've got revisions to do on a picture book biography, an acceptance speech to write for the EMBA Lifetime Achievement Award I'll receive in January (Yay!), and a couple of anthology contributions to create. Never a dull moment!

I come to the end of this year assessing what matters. What heart projects have gone unattended? What creative projects are most calling my name? Time to be quiet for a bit so I can hear the whispers of my soul.

For now, I take time to be grateful: for friends, for family, for work that is meaningful. I'm thankful for the teachers and librarians who go out of their way to thank me for the books I write and their impact on the students they serve, an impact that is only possible because they do the important work of putting those books into those students hands. I'm grateful for the tears and hugs teachers, librarians, and fans share with me. Those are always special moments. In the church, we say, "I feel blessed to be a blessing." Could anyone ask for more?

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Nikki Grimes

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