Monday, March 29, 2010

Time Out

House guests last week, moving this week.

Return of sanity expected sometime mid-April.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Childhood Favorites, Part III

Bread and Jam for Frances appealed to me because I was a picky eater, and because Frances made up songs to work through her problems. The best word I can think of here is authenticity. Frances's actions rang completely true. We were of one mind, Frances and I. Why shouldn't a girl be able to eat the one thing she loves over and over and over?

And again, looking at it today I'm struck by the skillful use of color and simplicity. Funny how when you're young sometimes you can't express exactly why you like something. You just do. It's reassuring to know that on occasion, my younger self had excellent taste.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Childhood Favorites, Part II

Next on the list of awesome childhood books: Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson.

Man, I loved that book. Elegant simplicity. Delightful ingenuity. Infinite possibility. I couldn't wait to turn the pages, to see how Harold would draw himself into or out of each new predicament.

Looking at it now I'm amazed at the brilliant use of space and color, at how masterfully those two elements spark the imagination, inviting the reader to step into the book and look around. It was a shared experience: me and Harold, side by side, out for a stroll in the big, wide world.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Childhood Favorites, Part I

This week I felt an impulse to revisit a few of the books I loved as a kid. No doubt there are many I've forgotten, and some I look at now and think, "Bzuh?". Tastes change and memories fail, but there will always be standouts that leave a lasting impression. Today I pay tribute to the irrepressible teenage detective, Trixie Belden.

Trixie was fearless and smart (though her brothers had to tutor her in math, if I remember right). She wasn't traditionally pretty, like Di or Honey, but cute in her own way--at least Jim thought so! Even 25 years ago the books were hopelessly dated, but I couldn't get enough of them. Who could resist a flawed, likeable heroine who solved mysteries and whose favorite word was "Jeepers!"?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Winds of Change

I've been thinking about the concept of blog-as-venue-for-venting-and-random-observations vs. blog-as-potential-platform-for-future-novel. I'd like to make a shift toward more literary-minded posts, but there are so many amazing blogs out there already (with followers, no less!) that address everything from book reviews to finding an agent to marketing your work.

I suppose it's about finding and cultivating your blog Voice, which isn't so different from the writing process itself. I'll give it a whirl and see where it leads.