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For the 2012-2013 academic year, Glastonbury teacher and writer David Polochanin was awarded the James Marshall Fellowship while on sabbatical to research the archives at the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection and create young adult poetry and fiction of his own.
Unless you’re a researcher, author, or interested in the inner workings of the writing craft, it is likely that, when reading a new book, with its glossy cover and crisp new pages, you will never know the labor involved in writing it. It’s also likely that few readers probably care about that process – the multiple drafts, the dead-ends, the outlines, the correspondence with agents and editors – in general, the ‘messiness’ that goes along with writing a book. When examining drafts of Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, the 1975 masterwork of children’s literature often listed on all-time best-books-for-children lists, it became immediately clear that her process was not easy or quick.
One powerful example of this is at the end of Chapter 22, where Babbitt adds this dramatic, skillful ending in handwritten script in the bottom and side margins.
I don’t know about you, but when I see examples of revision like that – which eventually became a permanent part of the story – I get chills. Here is another deft example of Babbitt’s revision, her first draft of the opening paragraph to chapter 25, which came to be the first paragraph of Chapter 23.
What I wonder about, as a teacher, as a writer, is this: Do student writers know this about writing? I want to start by saying there are no rules for writing stories, once you get past grammar and punctuation.
On a closing note, back in December when I began this fellowship, when I discovered that Tuck Everlasting was in the NCLC collection, I decided that I wanted to write my final blog post about this book. This fellowship was an unexpected, yet significant part of a sabbatical in which I have mainly written young adult poetry – I have a collection of poems that I am currently pitching to agents and editors – and a collection of short stories that I am planning to polish and revise in the next few weeks.
I think it’s appropriate to finish this post with Natalie Babbitt’s last words to me in her letter, when she puts her writing process simply, perhaps deceptively so.
What it comes down to, for me, is: you have to have something to say, and you have to like words. The School of Home Economics, which served as the foundation for the future School of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, educated university students, particularly women, in the skills of sewing, cooking, and generalized homemaking. Ultimately, when it was in existence, the School of Home Economics was clearly seriously invested in training students to be skilled in clothing design and homemaking.
People, like parents and teachers, and things, like games and books, play significant roles in shaping a child’s understanding of the world. One such book from 2008, called “Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet” and written by Helen L. This section also explains that the names of many modern-day words, places, products, companies, and organizations are derived from Greek mythology. Furthermore, the letters symbolize such curious things as gods and goddesses, for the letter G, who reside in Olympus, for the letter O, as well as Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, for the letter S. Like this alphabet book from 2008, a hard paper alphabet primer from 1913, which is entitled “The Noah’s Ark Primer” and was produced by the G.C. In essence, each of these alphabet books functions as an educational tool both scholastically and culturally. Goodspeed Opera House, East Hampton, Connecticut, from the Connecticut Historic Preservation Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut Libraries. The architectural surveys in the Connecticut Historic Preservation Collection are a tremendous source for those who are researching historic properties in the state, and one of our most regularly requested collections here in the archives.
2002-0002_ph30New Haven Railroad's last steam trip, April 27, 1952, in Willimantic, Connecticut. 2002-0002_ph34New Haven Railroad's last steam trip, April 27, 1952, at South Station in Boston, Massachusetts.
2002-0002_ph37New Haven Railroad's last steam trip, April 27, 1952, at Putnam, Connecticut, meeting eastbound Waterbury-Putnam train. 2002-0002_ph38New Haven Railroad's last steam trip, April 27, 1952, at New London, Connecticut. 2002-0002_ph39New Haven Railroad's last steam trip, April 27, 1952, at Putnam, Connecticut.
The plates comes with 28 pieces however I am including another set so it is now over 50 pieces.
A closer look at the west end of Middletown in 2015 shows the completed Perry Creek Lumber facility and signals down on the GSN.
Here is a close up of the Sawmill, with an OC&P logging steam locomotive switching the plant.
The Dave Speid Memorial Enginehouse was erected at the east end of Middletown in 2007 after Dave passed. Last December I posted some photos from Briarcliff Manor, a station that was along the now-defunct Putnam Division, and how it has since been converted into a library. As I mentioned earlier this week, the current Port Jervis line follows a slightly different route than the original passenger line operated by the Erie railroad. Built in 1896, the beautiful Romanesque-style Erie depot was designed by architect George Archer.
In several weeks we will visit Middletown’s replacement station on the Port Jervis Line on our Tuesday Tour, but suffice it to say, it pales in comparison to this beautiful building. Will your coverage include the rather large New York Ontario and Western station building in Middletown, if it is still standing? My name is Emily, though I am known by many who ride the train simply as Cat Girl, for the hats I customarily wear during the winter time. Usage of I Ride the Harlem Line photographs or text on any other site, or in any other media without permission is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN. This site is not endorsed nor affiliated in any way with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority or Metro-North Railroad. On Christmas Eve, I wrote an entry about how MTA New York City Transit was rolling out real time information boards at some Bronx 6 line stations.
MTA New York City Transit officials today announced that real-time train arrival message screens are now operational and being tested in the Buhre Avenue and Middletown Road stations on the 6 line.


Aside from train arrivals, the system also allows NYC Transit to provide both audio and visual messages to customers, keeping them fully informed about service delays or emergency situations. The announcement of this is good timing as I have been meaning to write an entry about them.
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This station is still in existence and is used by local groups, including the historical society. Cleaning up the wreck of a circa 1900 coal train wreck that came close to taking out the depot. This is the last in a series of blog installments on his insights, observations, and discoveries.
After all, there are a select few who have the ambition to write a book, even fewer who pull it off, and fewer still who get their books published.
She had slammed at the wasp with a heavy book, and killed it.  And then, at once, seeing its body broken, the thin wings stilled, she had at once  wished it were alive again. The countryside, the village of Treegap, the wood, motionless all lay whipped and helpless gasping. The sun was a ponderous circle without edges, a roar without a sound, a blazingglare blaze so thorough consuming that even  Queen Anne’s lace cast perfect,  motionless shadows and remorseless that even in the Foster’s parlor, with curtains drawn, it seemed an actual tangible presence. The text does not become spare – Babbitt’s prose is too descriptive and rich to be spare – but words and phrases are eliminated, and the writing is better for it.
There are sometimes limitations when reading through archival materials, so I thought the only way to get the answers was to ask Natalie Babbitt herself.
I noticed in the first draft and through Chapter 10 of the second draft that the lead character was named Daisy.  Can you tell me why you made the change to Winnie? I wrote in longhand, and then typed it all on my typewriter, chapter by chapter, as I went along. I never began a story (on paper) until I knew what it was that I wanted to say, and how the story would end.
Why do you think, in this age of fickle, and sometimes odd, tastes in children’s literature, that Tuck has endured all these years?
What you call ‘odd’ and ‘fickle’ about tastes in children’s literature are aspects that do not come from the young readers themselves.
I noticed that you had a good deal of notes and outlining, including a chronology, as part of your manuscript. I can’t start writing until the story has a shape and a purpose (for me) and a good ending. Your first two drafts include many revisions, cross-outs, arrows all over the margins, etc. What are a few of what you believe to be the finest examples of children’s literature, all-time? I read it first when I was in fourth grade and it has formed a lot of different pieces of my taste and philosophy. That, along with Natalie Babbitt’s thoughtful and revealing responses, makes me feel as though I made the right decision. I am grateful to the Glastonbury School District, its Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Alan Bookman, my principal at Gideon Welles School, Jay Gregorski, and the Director of Reading and Language Arts, Joanne St.
This is the final post in Carey’s blog series Through the Lens of an Anthropologist, in which she analyzes artifacts found in the collections of Archives and Special Collections. Eleanor Hotte was an associate professor for the Clothing, Textiles, and Related Art major within the School of Home Economics. In her blog series Through the Lens of an Anthropologist, Carey analyzes artifacts found in the collections of Archives and Special Collections.
Wilbur and illustrated by Victor Juhasz, comes in a large, hardcover picture book form with a plastic overlay.
Leroy Roberts Railroad Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut Libraries. Donated by Frank Morrissey, University Railroad Collection, Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Libraries. I’ve always thought it seems appropriate for an old train station to live a second life as a home to history and literature in the form of a library. A portion of the Erie main line was abandoned, and trains were rerouted along the freight Graham Line in the 80’s.
In 1960 the cash-strapped Erie, and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroads combined to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.
I am a graphic designer, a Metro North train rider, and a person that has always been interested in history.
I took a visit to a station along the 6 recently to photograph them in action for Eye On Transit. There are three drafts included in the collection, and the first two are thoroughly edited, with numerous cross-outs, inserts, writing all over the top, side, and bottom margins, places where new paragraphs need to be inserted, arrows drawn from here to there. Babbitt’s mind when initially composing the first draft speaks volumes about the importance of revising, and why writers must revise if they are to push themselves to write their best work.
That even the drafts of some of the greatest masterworks of children’s literature were not polished or complete in the first draft, or even the second draft? As a freelance writer, poet, and former journalist myself, I derived an education – and also inspiration – from reading through Babbitt’s drafts and witnessing her process. Her responses provide insights about Tuck, her personal writing process, and she even revealed what, to her, is the finest piece of children’s literature. As a teacher and a writer, it was excellent to see the, for lack of a better word, ‘messiness’, of this process. The language is wonderful, and Alice herself is the only character in the book that has a particle of sense.
Becker, is written in an AABB rhyme scheme and aligns the letters of the alphabet with the animals described by the Bible to be found on Noah’s Ark during the biblical deluge.


There are several such places in New York state alone, but one of my favorites is in Middletown, NY. The tracks that ran through the center of Middletown, and past this Erie depot, were part of the section that was abandoned.
He designed several churches, banks, and other buildings in the mid-Atlantic area of the US, and in varying styles. Similar to the fate of the Penn Central, the Erie Lackawanna eventually declared bankruptcy and was ultimately merged into Conrail.
For the past 6 years I've been a regular commuter, though I've been a Harlem Line rider all my life.
You may get a recommendation from a friend, or read a blurb on a back cover in a bookstore. Whether it’s a change from “said” to “whispered”, changing a reference from a character’s name to a pronoun reference, the elimination of how a chapter would begin, the manuscript is marked up – in a good way.
The sun was a ponderous circle without edges, a roar without a sound, a blazing glare so thorough and remorseless that    even in the Fosters’ parlor, with curtains drawn, it seemed an actual presence.You could not shut it out.
And, do you think the title is especially important for this book, or if the book would have succeeded had you named it something else? But finally, for me, anyway, a title comes to the head of the list because, whether the writer knows it or not, it should say best what needs saying: it tells something about the story it represents, but not too much – and it needs to have an almost musical rhythm to it.
Can you comment on why you changed her name and if you had changed characters’ names in other books you have written while in the process of writing?
Do you recall how long it took to write the 1st draft, to finish the second draft, and complete the third?
It tells the truth, and it tells it with objectivity and humor and shows again and again what adults are really about. There could have been any number of paths that this fellowship took; there are hundreds of boxes of material that I did not explore. Holcombe Papers, Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Libraries.
When the old tracks were removed, Middletown’s historic Erie depot became just an old building surrounded by asphalt and automobiles.
The station survived all of these changes, and stood watch as the final passenger train arrived at Middletown at 6 PM on April 16th, 1983. Construction began in October of 1993, and the library finally opened in its new home on February 13, 1995.
This site is a collection of my usually train-related thoughts, observations, photographs, and travels, as well as my never-ending hunt for intriguing historical artifacts.
Also, the title of the book, etched in the minds of children and adults alike, was not a certain thing.
My editor, without whom I’d never have written a word, has never demanded one title or another – he leaves it up to me – but if he dislikes the sound of a title, or its seeming meaning, he’ll say so. But I can tell you that many adults, when I told them what the basic theme of the story was going to be, were horrified. But I think the best themes come from the people who remember what it was really like to be a child. I think about a new story endlessly, and completely stop reading anything else until there’s room in my head once again. But I do want to recognize and thank the NCLC curator Terri Goldich for allowing me tremendous latitude in what I did, and for her support along the way.
I learned a lot about myself as a writer and a teacher and look forward to returning to the classroom in the fall.
Middletown is likely one of the most beautiful of the extant stations to fall under that category. Chatham and Mamaroneck are other examples of stations designed in similar style which I’ve featured before. During the process, Babbitt brainstormed various titles, including: The Ripe Old Age Of Always, Ancient, An Ancient Tender Age, Daisy and Forever, and Tuck Everlasting. Thanks, also, to the other curators and Dodd Center staff, including Betsy Pittman, for accommodating my requests and answering my questions. Hotte for at least that year, and it seems that by a year later she was married and had taken his name. Leaning on any part of a story – except the story itself – to create success spells disaster. In fact, I think my whole philosophy was created before I was ten years old, and it has never changed.
Then, sometimes, I send a few paragraphs to my editor (his name is Michael di Capua, and we’ve been together for more than 45 years). This doesn’t mean that I think my books are special in any way – after all, I started out wanting to be an illustrator – but at least they’re honest, and, I hope, direct. He’s got a PhD in American Studies, with a specialization in American literature, and that aspects usually scares me. I have had wonderful, articulate letters from thoughtful, philosophizing (if that’s a word) children steadily throughout the years since it appeared.
It is mainly to the credit of reading teachers that it has been used in schools, bless them.
I wish this society would stop thinking that everyone under the age of seventeen is useless and dumb.



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