December 10th, 2015
I’m no sucker. I didn’t even have to buy that Japanese book about the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” All I had to do was to inhale the first few paragraphs in a bookstore and the magic had already begun. A tsunami of putting things away instead of letting them lie about took over my life. Perhaps because the author had said this would be magical it was. I began to think about the value of less everywhere else. How a good story has distinct edges. How I make pictures by cutting out what shouldn’t be there. How writing gets better when you subtract words wherever possible. “Elegance is refusal,” as Coco Chanel once said.
November 27th, 2014
I am working on a story about birds. Or rather a story about birds is working on me. It has got me noticing how utterly obsessed the human race is with birds. And I’m thinking they don’t feel the same way about us.
June 28th, 2014
Not for the first time I have been asked for a self portrait only to have it politely refused in favor of something more cheerfully normal. All of us are so many creatures, we wear so many hats.
This dear blogosphere is myself in my mind’s eye.
June 28th, 2014
Did you make the art specifically to go in that room? you ask. No I didn’t. But I’ve known this room for a very long time and am tickled to see they have ended up together. “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” as Winston Churchill once said.
December 31st, 2013
I think the appeal of a resolution is that it promises to knit our lives into a story. I hunger for story as much as the next person, but I’m here to remind you we can’t decide what the story is really about before it begins. In this particular case it begins tomorrow.
One year I let go of the burden of a resolution that would wag a finger at me all year long. Instead of hoping to lose a few pounds or keep my closet neat, in some marvelous flash of self acceptance, I resolved to be willing to be surprised. Was this specific enough I fretted. Yes, indeed it was. Instead of being faced with my dreary failure to open mail more diligently or keep my desk clear I was cheered on by the persistence of my own folly. Leaving the window open just a crack I had let in a little more wonder.
March 18th, 2012
What pure joy to get this email from Leander Texas, and on my birthday as well.
I just want to say thank you for writing. I’ve always struggled with my 11-year old daughter and reading. She found your books this week and read Cinderella in one night. I just went and bought Thumbelina for her. I don’t think she’s ever finished a book, so I wanted to say thank you! We’ll keep an eye out for more…
It helps to have a picture in my mind of this and so many other readers as I work to finish the next one, which I can promise will be really REALLY GOOD. In the meantime happy reading!
February 21st, 2012
In order to dig deeper into this business of writing for kids I have been reading more kids’ books. Sort of. Many of them turn out to be “cross over” but officially they are for children. Fascinating how a book I may have read as a child is such a different experience to read as an adult. The Little Prince struck me as overly cute. Almost like it had too much sugar I don’t think I was even able to finish it. Now I’m struck by how original it is and profound. That’s a little strange. Oh but I was older then, I’m younger than that now.