Wednesday, May 28, 2014

long live the beedle.

When people ask me to share the sweetest part of this publishing journey so far ... I go blank.

And it's not because I can't think of anything to say.

It's because I feel so much.

And it's because I still get teary trying to talk about it all. A Snicker of Magic has been such a sweet journey. Sometimes I try to break that journey up, into smaller, kaleidoscope pieces - particular moments that sparkle and shine. There are lots. I'm so grateful for all of it. I feel so blessed to be able to spend so much time doing what I love. In many ways, I thought once the book was written, the story was finished.

But the end wasn't really the end at all. And that's been quite a surprise.

I can't believe people would take the time to read my book. Or spend their hard earned money and buy it. Or save up their allowance and buy it at the book fair.

Or take the time to write me letters.


Or make amazing art inspired by the story. (This was created by 4th graders in Delaware, Ohio. Isn't it gorgeous?!)


Or tweet their favorite lines.

Or read it with their classrooms.

Or actually develop a recipe for Blackberry Sunrise. 

Or make a Pinterest board just for the book.

My heart; it spins and spins. The spinning will never stop. I am certain of that.

There's a particularly shiny part I'd love to share with you today, though. It has to do with The Beedle.

Just in case you haven't read A Snicker of Magic yet, I'll try to briefly explain without being spoiler-y:

In the town of Midnight Gulch, there is a mysterious do-gooder known simply as: The Beedle. The Beedle does anonymous good deeds for folks. And he/she/it has been doing good deeds for at least fifty years. Sometimes these acts of kindness are great and obvious but, most of the time, Beedle-deeds are smaller, sweeter acts.

A parking meter gets filled up.

A box of dog treats shows up on the doorstep.

A new set of banjo strings are given to a musician who desperately needs to find a new song.

VERY FEW PEOPLE Nobody knows the exact identity of The Beedle, is the thing. All the good is done in secret. The Beedle is an important part of the story, as you know if you read the book.

Here's what sparkles and shines:

Because readers are so wonderful, passionate, and kind ... The Beedle isn't just in the book anymore.

A few months ago, I got an email from a sweet reader who shall remain anonymous (you'll see why in a second). She'd just read A Snicker of Magic, and she wanted me to know that she loved the story. That was a thrill to hear.

She also had a question.

For her birthday, she'd decided to spend the whole day doing anonymous random acts of kindness.

And she was wondering if, for the duration of her birthday weekend, she could be The Beedle in her hometown?

I answered exactly as Felicity Pickle would: "YES YES YES!!!"

She sent me pictures from her Beedle weekend.





If you think I got teary looking at those, you are correct. 

And then I started hearing from more Beedles. 

A couple of months ago, I spoke at the library in Delaware, Ohio. I need to recap that full experience on here sometime. The entire trip to Ohio was wonderful. I spoke at Bailey Elementary and Old Sawmill during the day, and both groups of students were attentive, kind, funny, and fun. I was delighted when students showed up at the library presentation in Delaware. One class had been reading Snicker together, and so they came to the event with their books (even though this was after school!). They sat on the first three rows, hugging their books. They asked great questions. They were amazing. 

And when they came through the line to get their books signed, several students told me they had Beedles in their classroom. BEEDLES.

And not, like, beetles. Their classroom wasn't infested with bugs. They had more than one "Beedle" who'd been anonymously doing good deeds (like donating new books in their classroom library) and leaving kind notes around the room. 

I thought my heart might explode with happiness. 

When their teacher took a group photo of all of us together someone (who shall remain anonymous, of course) whispered: 

"I'm the Beedle." 

And there are more. 

Last week, I Skyped with Mr. Greg Armamentos's students in Illinois. They were a fantastic group, and asked great questions. Before each student asked a question, Greg would tell me a little bit about that student, which was wonderful. I could tell they were a tight group, and a kind group. Greg emailed me later and shared this: 
"So today the kids were brainstorming what they would do if they were designated the new Beedle. What acts of kindness would they want to do? After a few minutes, kids began to ask: Is this just a writing idea, or CAN we actually do the ideas we come up with? One of the kids came up with a letter-writing idea. Soon most of the kids raised their hands asking to write anonymous letters to peers. A couple of girls remembered a project that was dear to their heart, but didn't garner enough support from their Girl Scout Troop. They want to raise money to send a girl to school. I could barely hold back the tears. Several other kids have their own unique ideas of how to spread kindness."

Amazing. 

If I were a word collector like Felicity Pickle, I might be able to sum up how this makes me feel. Actually, Felicity would have to make up a word to describe how sweet this is. All I can offer is a heartfelt W O W. 

Dear Beedles, 

Thank you for inspiring me the way you do. 

Thank you for being brave little lights in a world that can be so crummy and dark. Thanks for looking for the good in a person, and in a situation. Thank you for spreading so much kindness and joy. 

Pumpernickel, my friends. It's an honor to know you.

*fist bump* 

Let's keep Beelde-ing.

13 comments:

  1. This is why I want everyone to read A Snicker of Magic no matter what their age. I think it's as important for adult to read it as for the kids to read it. It is so special.

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  2. Awwww... this made me all teary too. Books change lives, especially yours. <3

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  3. Reading "A Snicker of Magic" with my class this year was an amazing experience! I truly believe it changed all of our lives. Even today, as we celebrated our last day of school, "Snicker" was still very much on our minds and in our hearts. During the last few minutes of our time together as a class, I told my students to never forget that their words are magic. With many tears, hugs, and smiles, we all had one more magical moment together before heading out into the world as 4th grade alumni ... ready to conquer the world with our beedle acts!!! - Khara (lucky 4th grade teacher of the fabulous kids from Delaware, Ohio)

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  4. This is so awesome! It made me tear up, too. :) I love the idea of someone being the Beedle in their hometown.

    P.S. Waking up to see this post was the perfect way to start off the day! I've missed your posts lately. :)

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  5. I love, love, love this! I bought A Snicker of Magic for my 13 year old daughter to read on a family trip this summer, but now I kind of want to read it aloud to my entire crew. *love*

    Joy
    The Book Children

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  6. This is so wonderful. I knew that your book would be a big deal and make a huge difference.
    I keep meaning to buy a copy for my seven year old niece. She reads alarmingly well for her age and got an award last week for her reading efforts. It's so thrilling to see her love reading as much as her mother and aunts. And I see a lot of Felicity in her, in the fact that she has such a giant heart. I can't wait to share this wonderful story with her.
    Susannah

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  7. Natalie,
    You inspire me. From the first time that I read your book "Paper doll" I was thrilled, touched, and most of all inspired to live my life for the only One (meaning God) that matters. Since then I have been following your journey to get "A Snicker of Magic" published, and have finally gotten my hands on a copy. (there is a list of folks at my local library waiting to read it btw,) You inspire me to show kindness to others, to love like my heart will burst, to keep writing, and to believe in a God of miracles. Thank you SO much for the amazing voice that you are adding to American Literature today. Keep writing Ms. Lloyd, and keep shining your light.
    --One of many Beedles

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  8. Wow! i so want to read this book! as soon as my mom gets back from a short trip shes on, ill BEG her to order it! (Just kidding, she'll order, I'll pay:) ANYWAYS, i LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE the Beedle thingy even though i've never read the book! im going to start Beedle-ing with my friends as soon as possible! WOW! my older sis used to, get the sisterhood magazines and i always would (temperaraly) steal each new magazine to read the back part by- guess who! YOU natalie Lloyd
    -A Future Beddle

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  9. OH MY GOODNESS i havent even read the book and now me and my group of friends and my sister and her friends are going to start a Beedle group! i love the beedle idea! i havent even read the book but i will.....

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  10. Wow, how great is this? And all that came from a book you wrote. How amazing! You are seriously an inspiration. And it makes me smile to think that a fictional character is actually living in the real world :D

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  11. Hi Natalie hope it's ok I blogged about you and A Snicker today!
    www.klingercafe.com

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  12. Yes. Yes. Yes!

    This made me not only teary eyed, but full out waterfall eyes. (: I'm soo happy to see the Beetle alive. ��

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  13. This post makes me so, so happy!

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