Who knows what Lanie might have become except for Nancy and Jim? Nancy Werlin and I met online and became buds at ALA in New York City more than 10 years ago. She’s always been a Boston girl. Jim McCoy made her life sweeter but has also been a gift to the whole group of authors who now get together every year in the Boston area for a writing retreat. He drives us places, provides excellent conversation, and is a all-around good egg. More importantly for Lanie’s story, he’s a birder. So when I was choosing places for Lanie to live and Boston started rising to the top, I grabbed it. After all, if Lanie was going to be an outside girl, discovering that wildlife and the wide wonderful world can be found and treasured any and everywhere, I probably needed to understand all of those people who spend their free time looking at birds through binoculars. Jim pointed out that the fascination partly has to do with a tidbit of life so fleeting. All that sound and motion tucked into a body with a tiny beating heart…with instincts that sometimes set that tiny creature on a journey where it has to stand up to winds and thunder and oceans to cross. Hearing him talk about birds, I knew Lanie would fall in love with them.
Today, I’m back in Boston doing my very first school visits around Lanie’s story, staying again with Nancy and Jim, extraordinary hosts.