Within the ten stories of A Berkshire Tale, ZuZu is constantly amazed by the world around her. During her first year, the tiny tabby encounters many new people on her adventures with her buddy, Nick. Sometimes, she can be a bit overwhelmed and can’t seem to decide if it’s the worst day or the best day of her whole life. Her feelings and emotions are constantly bombarded with new experiences to process. When the lovely violinist invites her to her first Mozart Concert, she is elated. But this elation quickly turns to disappointment when her mama informs her, ” It is too dangerous for a kitten to be moving around outside in the darkness.”
ZuZu goes to her loft bed, “…certain that this was to be the worst night of her whole, entire life. Everyone would be at the concert except for her.” Of course there’s a happy ending to this story. In ZuZu’s world, there are lots of happy endings.
On a snowy, January day, alpacas arrive at the barn. ZuZu soon makes friends with the crias, Ginger and Twyla, informing her mother at bed time, “…this has been the best day of my whole, entire life..” She verbalizes for us, the exhilaration and anticipation we often feel when beginning a new relationship or new endeavor.
In early spring, the family goes to the Botanical Garden and the little tabby is left behind to grumble, “This is the worst day of my whole life.” Later, when she finally gets to go with them and finds out how to help save the monarch butterflies she loves so much, she turns on her back and kicks up her paws “…in a joyous dance, convinced that this was the best day of her whole, entire life.” Haven’t we all felt like dancing sometime when lemons turn into lemonade for us?
And you can imagine her feelings when she meets Santa at the Red Lion Inn and makes her first Christmas wish.
There are many things in this great big universe for tiny kittens and little children to grapple with. So many things in this world for all of us to grapple with. Our good days and our bad days, we can surely count on them.
And so, Thursday was a good day for A Berkshire Tale. Charley and I traveled to Upton Massachusetts to do an interview with Jan Lewis for her show “Be My Guest” on UCTV12. (I’ll post the YouTube video when it’s aired.) This was my first ever interview as an author and I was a bit worried about not having enough to say to fill a half hour show. Me of little faith! I could have filled up the rest of that poor woman’s 2015 schedule of events. We started by discussing the book and its origins, and my experiences as a self-published author and then moved on to the concept of reading with children at an early age and its benefits: parent/child bonding; encouraging imagination; de-stressing from the day’s happenings before sleep; providing a solid basis for future academic success…. The time just flew by.
After the taping, Charley and I headed to Plainville to meet with Deb Sundin, General Manager Extraordinaire of An Unlikely Story. We delivered copies of A Berkshire Tale to be sold in this very special store. This bookstore/cafe is the brainchild of Julie and Jeff Kinney. Jeff writes “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” Series. Together they’ve created a gathering space where people can come to have lunch, hear readings, meet authors, listen to music, take workshops or yoga classes; participate in a family game night, a wine tasting, karaoke. Jeff actively encourages and promotes indie and local authors. It’s a wonderful concept housed in a beautiful building, providing a magical place for the community right in the center of town – one of those Sanctuaries I’m always going on about. Jeff’s goals are simple, “If one kid’s life is changed because of this bookstore, then the whole thing was worth it.”
When we arrived home, Charley helped me in creating a zip file to send out for my first book review. Lots of firsts happening lately. The coming months are already getting filled with activities – Holiday Fairs and two major Book Festivals in Rhode Island and Boston. After my initial marketing experiences during the past few months, I’m ready to continue presenting A Berkshire Tale like a proud parent to the public. And I’m well aware there’ll be good days and bad days.
ZuZu tells her mother, after a particularly harrowing spring day, “I’m not sure if this was the best day or the worst day of my whole life.”
Her mother asks, “How do you feel now that you can look back on the ups and downs?”
“Well, it started happy and it ended happy, so I guess it was a pretty good day,” ZuZu declared.
“All’s well that ends well. Life can be like that, little one.”
Closing her eyes, a tired ZuZu nodded in agreement.