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A time to listen and a time to hope

Kate DiCamillo, author of the children’s fantasy “The Tale of Despereaux” (2003), recalled a 10-year-old boy at a book signing who asked her “… how do you get all that hope into your stories?”

DiCamillo responded, “I guess that writing the story is an act of hope, and so even when I don’t feel hopeful, writing the story can lead me to hope.”

The boy walked away, writing her response in a spiral notebook.

In November 2020, DiCamillo wrote:

“Why did I wake up this morning and think of this child? Maybe because this is a time to start asking good questions, a time to write down the answers, a time to listen to each other really well. I’m going to get myself a little spiral bound notebook. I’m going to listen and hope.”

Once again, the holiday season has sneaked up and caught me unprepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It isn’t just the preparations of food and gift-buying that leave me with that unsettled feeling of tasks left undone. I didn’t get around to finishing eve...

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