After a busy summer of working in the Children's Room at the , teaching six weeks of Creative Writing classes and putting the finishing touches on my third children's book, I had the opportunity to take a three-day vacation up in Cooperstown.
My visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum reminded me of two wonderful non-fiction children's books I'd read recently — Brothers at Bat by Audrey Vernick is the story of the 12 Acera brothers from New Jersey who formed their own baseball team in the 1930's. The other baseball book is Silent Star:The story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy by Bill Wise. This is a terrific book for all ages about the first deaf baseball player in the major leagues.
On my tour of the beautiful Fenimore Art Museum, I was inspired by the Impressionists and Native American exhibits. The museum is named after the family of James Fenimore Cooper, author of the classic books, The Deerslayer and Last of the Mohicans. I was surprised to learn that Cooperstown is considered "the cradle of American literature."
I spent a few minutes staring out at the turquoise water of the gorgeous Otsego Lake from the stone terrace at the Fenimore Art Museum. I was inspired to set my next children's book in a small upstate village on a lake.
On our drive back home on day three of our Cooperstown getaway, we stopped at the famous Howe Caverns. I eagerly walked among the stalactites and stalagmites 150 feet below ground on the 90 minute underground tour. I tried to imagine the brave Lester Howe plunging down into the cavern opening on a piece of rope more than 100 years ago on a hunch that he might discover an underground wonder. The delicious home-made fudge we purchased in the Howe Caverns sweet shop was the highlight of the trip! (Chocolate walnut and Double chocolate were my favorite flavors.)
Those three days away gave me a chance to explore new places with good friends and bring back lots of inspiration for new stories. I always encourage my writing students to find inspiration in nature, adventure and life's experiences. I have to walk the walk and talk the talk (preferably 150 feet below ground while eating a sublime piece of fudge!).
Note: Ms. Kovach's Fall session of Creative Writing for kids begins September 19th. Interested parents can call during regular library hours at the Katonah Village Library (232-1233) or stop by the Children's Room. Classes are on Mondays or Wednesdays 5:30 - 6:30pm or Saturdays 11:30am-12:30pm starting Sept. 19th.