In 1967, Leo Lionni published a children’s picture book called Frederick, in which a nest of field mice prepares for the winter. While the other mice gather food, one mouse, Frederick, collects supplies of his own: sunshine, color, words. In the depths of winter, when the food is running out and the sky is cold and gray, Frederick uses his stores to lift everybody else’s spirits.
We read Frederick recently in my children’s-lit class. I thought of the title character today as I was listening to a press conference in which the governor outlined the new restrictions she was putting into effect to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Here in New Mexico, the usual entertainment options are becoming scarce as bars, restaurants, schools, malls, and movie theaters close and social gatherings are limited to 10 people.
Wherever you are, you’re probably under some restrictions, too.
I don’t have a stockpile of toilet paper or hand sanitizer to share with you. But — like Frederick — I can offer you my words.
A couple of months ago, I posted part of the prologue to a novel I am writing. I’d intended to post a few more samples, but I got busy and didn’t have time.
Beginning tomorrow, I will start posting sections of my new novel for you to enjoy. Please understand that they are very rough, as this is very much a work in progress, and what you see here may bear little resemblance to whatever finds its way into the finished book. But I think it’s pretty engaging, and at this moment of international crisis, a diversion might be the best thing I can offer the world.
See you tomorrow in Coldwater.