The goose is getting fat

Hello my friends,

It’s been too long. And I should be making lunches for the kids and making people practice and maybe changing into real clothes. But instead I am here to say a few things.

  1. I love this book review of Anna Quindlen’s book How Reading Changed my Life. It’s written by my good friend Tracy who I admire and who is smart and funny and true. Here is a quote: Reading is a balm for loneliness.  It diminishes human isolation as much as it expands our knowledge or offers us entertainment.  “Part of the great wonder of reading is that it has the ability to make human beings feel more connected to one another.”
  2. My seven year old had a nightmare that he forgot all his lines for the Gingerbread Man (he got the lead!) and he came into my room sobbing. It reminded me that things that seem small to me–“just say ‘You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!'”–are actually very big to him. And really, if I can put things into perspective, that would be a nightmare. Can you imagine forgetting in front of all of those people? When we write for kids, we should acknowledge how big and real their problems are. Not getting picked for soccer. Losing your homework. A girl always putting your dang backpack off the hook and on the ground. Losing your mittens. Not having anyone talk to you at recess. Those are things are real. Just as real as getting 100% on the spelling test. Or making it across the monkey bars. Or getting picked to help in the office all day.
  3. I wonder why at the core of my novels there is a fundamental sadness. This is what an editor said to me recently. Why do I do that? what does that mean? And does that say something about me? What is at the core of your novels?
  4. My sweet baby is toddling all over the house. It seems so strange that somebody so small, those tiny little legs, could be walking and laughing and hitting her brothers. It’s a wonder and a miracle and I am grateful for every second of it. This is my plug for you and for me to write more things down. To practice your writing by using your family as subjects. Write down what they say. Write down what they do. Write down what you feel. For you. For them. For all of us one day.

That is all and Merry first day of December and may we all love each other.

 

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1 Comment

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One response to “The goose is getting fat

  1. I am reading The Ginger Tree, which actually is quite sad but the way he has written it I don’t feel sad, I feel like Mary is triumphant. Some sad books I have to put away because they make me depressed. I should try to analyze how the author (Oswald Wynd) does this. So, even though you say you have “fundamental sadness” in your books perhaps you have also learned how to help the reader feel joy at the outcome. Your writing is wonderful, Ann Dee. I wish I had your books here, right at my elbow so I could remember how you brought not-sadness in the end.

    And I agree, we should be writing about what happens in the family. I have started a “post card” idea with the grandchildren. Only 2 of the 18 have caught on yet but when I get a (self addressed, stamped) postcard from them I send them a personal letter with a new post card included. It’s been good for me as I have to remember what has happened in my life so I have something to say. And I keep the post cards so they will have a record of their lives.

    Well, I’ve said too much. Thank you for your post and for letting us see a glimpse into your life with your kids. Those of us who’s kids are grown and gone are so starved to hear those little details.

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