Today is Fat Tuesday, the culmination of Mardi Gras. While celebrations have been subdued — and while the closest I’ve ever come to attending in person was touring the Mobile Carnival Museum during a visit to Alabama in January 2020 — I can’t help but feel a closer connection to Mardi Gras this year.

One of my current nonfiction projects is a book about glitter that will be published by Charlesbridge. (They also published my picture books Whoosh! and The Day-Glo Brothers.) My research for Glitter Everywhere has taken me down several fascinating avenues, including a few prominent cultural uses of glitter — such as Mardi Gras.

Among the handcrafted souvenirs thrown from Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans during normal years are the Krewe of Muses’ glitter-covered shoes. And among the Muses are a couple of generous and talented school librarians whom I’m acquainted with.

And so it came to pass that I recently became the delighted owner of a silver-glittered shoe adorned with Shark, Train, Fire Truck, Dragon, a Super Soaker, and an American elm tree, all recognizable from the pages of picture books I’ve written. The shoe — its glittery goodness securely kept within a plastic bag tied with a Muses bow — sits on my writing desk and never fails to make my working hours feel all the more celebratory. Laissez la bonne écriture rouler!