I met Mary Jo at my very first SCBWI conference. Although the Canada West chapter conference was small, I was beyond nervous. But then I met Mary Jo and her company helped me to feel like a I belonged. Take it away Mary Jo!
When I was in elementary school, my favorite place to read was in a little reading nook my sister and I made in my bedroom behind a tall chest of drawers. We filled it with mounds of pillows and stuffies and we stashed junk food under the chest. The nook was my sanctuary and I lived in so many worlds back there.
As much as I’d like to recreate that nook in my adult life, I know if I tried, it would be completely overrun with my two kids. And I shudder to think what kind of festering, hidden scraps of food I’d find in it. So, I have two rather grown-up spaces that I’ve claimed for my “leave me alone” time.
My absolute favorite place to read is on a red Adirondack deck chair at our cabin on Pender Island off the coast of Vancouver. I spend every morning there, tea in one hand, book in another and our dog on my lap. I hear nothing except birds, lilting waves and rustling leaves (except when my dog’s yelp cracks the air because he sees imaginary things) and the satisfying whoosh as I turn a book’s page. I could NEVER use a Kindle. And with the early morning sun warming my face, it’s just magical. I often meditate there as well.
(By the way, I am totally not bored reading I’M BORED)
However, until I retire––do writers ever retire??––I only get to enjoy Pender and my red chair on weekends and holidays. So when I’m home, my favorite place to put butt in chair is a big, comfy black one that I call my “peace chair.” It’s where I commit to my “First 10”, my 10 minutes of meditating and setting my intentions for the day every morning. And it’s where I always go when I want to snuggle up to a book. I love how I can sink in to it, I have room to curl my feet under me and the reading light gives a warm glow. It’s also in a more quiet part of the house so I’m less likely to be disturbed.
Wonderful! Thank you Mary Jo.
Mary Jo has been a freelance writer and editor for nearly 25 years, but she’s often mistaken for the Mary Jo Wagner, the NPR reporter. Sometimes she doesn’t correct peoples’ mistake. She began writing picture books, as well as an adult memoirgraphy (she just made up that word), about five years ago and hopes to have a book published before she’s incontinent. In the meantime, you can find her on Twitter at @mj_wagner or on Instagram, where she features beautiful book covers at @bookcovart. Her personal Instagram is @wagner_mj.
Week 7: PBHOT62 Reading Spots
*Reading bonus, read while in the company of others