Secrets that is—My writer secrets and my favorite-faves.
Secret Number one… Write your blog like you write your books. Carefully, proofread! Don’t write your first blog at 1:00 am, slogging with red wine and feeling, lonely-down, like the dog who ate Grandmother’s Irish linen!
Yuck, I’m done with numbered lists. I don’t like them!
I’m a voracious reader, and I love to write. If you aspire to write and don’t like to read, well, sorry. You might want to rethink your calling. But if you love to read and you want to write, I’m going invite you to peek into my loop-de-loop, crazy life and introduce you to some thought provoking, entertaining, writerly- wonderful folks whose books you should read and analyze. Unless you scream, stop, Pam, stop!
My next several posts will carry you from the tried and true classics to the new super-reads for all ages. Starting with the first book I’ve never forgotten.
Miss. Twiggley’s Tree—the book that started it all. Crazy Miss. Twiggley lived in a tree with her dog and two bears. She was seriously-people-phobic, and when company came she hid. Except, Mrs. Twiggley was really something special. When the town flooded she saved everyone. Even the Mayor and her cat! The illustrations were capital-A+! For years I’ve looked for this classic to share with lovers of children’s books. Sadly, author-illustrator, Dorothea Warren Fox, is no longer with us. Happily, the rumor is true! Purple House Press has reprinted this classic. Go, Purple House Press, go!
After meeting Miss. Twiggley, I couldn’t read enough. And when the librarian caught me stealing extra books, (seriously, don’t drop the books you didn’t really check out onto the librarian’s desk along with the authentic checkouts upon return.) she repealed the two at a time rule and started loading me up.
As I read, I found myself turning into Roald Dahl’s crazy characters. I was onboard for his exciting, terrifying adventures. I mean those witches… Yikes! By the way, if you check out his website and click on his books, you’ll hear a lot of strange sounds (farts maybe?)… But, you’ll also find a list of some of the best books for kids in the world! If you’ve got kids of your own his “treats” section is total cyber-fun. http://www.roalddahl.com/ Dahl’s books equal action, adventure, bizarre, thrilling, scary, total fun!
Hanging out with Beverly Cleary’s cast of crazy characters was pretty great too. Especially, because I could relate to poor Ramona and the trouble she never meant to get into.
(Note: I was gonna steal (for keeps) the books about Ralph the mouse on his motorcycle, but I felt guilty over the last sticky finger incident, so I begged Mom for them, instead. And guess what the Easter Bunny brought?)
If you check out Beverly’s site you’ll watch an interview that will make you smile, meet the characters of her books and find some fun interactive games. Plus, there’s a little info about Beverly’s movie; Ramona and Beezus! Huzzah, loud clapping and cheering going on in my office as I celebrate Beverly Cleary. http://www.beverlycleary.com/ Cleary’s books equal humor, adventure, and heart-warming oops-you-got-stuck-in-it-now antics!
And then there’s Judy Blume! Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing… Eating tiny turtles, getting in trouble in shoe stores… Fantastic Fun! When I slipped Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, into my pile, the librarian raised a grizzled eyebrow. “Is your mom okay with this?” I nodded, scrambling out the door, my arms heavy with books, my Keds slapping the pavement as my cheeks turned bubblegum pink.
If you visit Judy’s website you’ll find stuff about Judy, writing, censorship, and fun things for kids. Check her out at: http://www.judyblume.com Blume’s books equal, fun, kid trouble, adventure and some thought provoking stuff that back in the day (erm…my day) was considered pretty controversial for girls.
This is the start of my journey through the books that have inspired my writing. It isn’t even the icing on the cake…heck, it isn’t even the frosting on my left knuckle (yes, I am eating a lemon sprinkle cupcake as I type.) But if you haven’t read at least one of these books by each of these authors, you should. Even if YA is you’re cup of tea, or you’re seriously digging vampires and creatures of the night. You’ll learn from these books. I swear on Gram’s Irish linen, you’ll be a better writer for having read them!
P.S. If you eat peanut butter sandwiches while reading these books, please lick your fingers before turning the pages!