Friday, June 24, 2011

Greetings from Paradise

I've just finished day two of the blissful Children's Literature Assocation conference. I was lucky enough to find an abandoned computer where I can type this blog post; I have the unfortunate combination of being someone who is addicted to email and to blogging, but who is even more addicted to carrying nothing with her on a trip, thus no laptop, so this feels fortunate.

I don't think there is anyplace I go on this earth where I walk in and have so much of a feeling, "THIS is my world. THESE are my people." I feel even more this way when I am with children's literature scholars than when I am with children's book writers, even though I am a much more prolific and successful author of children's books than I am of scholarly articles on children's literature. But it's just that, above all, I am a LOVER of children's literature, even more than a maker of children's literature. And here I'm with people who love what I love, people who can discuss turns of plot in Lousia May Alcott's An Old-Fashioned Girl, or why Betsy's Wedding is so much more satisfying than other 1950s wedding novels, or why the predictable plot of Ginger Pye somehow doesn't count against it. There is nothing more wonderful than being with people who love all the same books that you love - and have read them all at least fifty times.

So far I have heard papers on topics including graphic novel versions of The Wizard of Oz, World War I patriotic propoganda, teen wedding novels of mid-century, Disney's placement of Tinkerbell in US Department of Energy public service announcements, adaptations for children of Oliver Twist, a theatrical production of Heidi set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an amazing biographical sketch of the author of Pollyanna in Hollywood. I gave my own paper on wartime dreams and disillusionment in Rufus M as well as a "Writers on Writing" author talk on my book One Square Inch. I had dinner with the ChLA International Committee, of which I'm a member. I had lunch with old dear author friends. I had margaritas with Lisa and Jeff and Andrea, with whom I spent time two summers ago in Taiwan. And tonight is the midnight feast.

This is my world. These are my people.


  1. Intellectually and socially edifying: It sounds like heaven.

    And it sounds like you need an iPad2.

    How does it smell? :)

  2. It's so sweet to have a moment to drop in and catch up on all your literary doings. Greetings and best wishes to you from PA!

  3. My kids and I are really loving the recent adaptation of the Oz books by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young! I hope those were mentioned at your conference, because they are loads of fun. In my opinion, WAY more fun that the original books by Baum.

  4. Now I can say "...Eisner Award winning adaptation of the Oz books...". Hooray for Eric and Skottie!