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Laurie Halse Anderson never lets me down. 

She is an AMAZING author.

Wintergirls is a young adult novel published in 2009 and why it didn't win a Newberry Medal or at least an Honor is BEYOND me. It has been published in over 15 countries and I can see why.  I couldn't put this book down.  I was instantly entwined in the life of Lia, the main character, as she struggles with anorexia, the death of her best friend and her relationship issues with her mother as well in addition to the problems she has with her father and stepmother.  While I've never grappled with anorexia or bulimia as the main character and her best friend did, I could feel their pain as they pulled me into the pages with them.

I have admired the writing of Laurie Halse Anderson for many years.  They way she makes the life of a troubled teen unfold into the reader's life takes incredible writing talent and dedication to her subject and her readers.  I feel the pain of her characters as though they are sitting next to me telling me the story in person.

While reading Wintergirls, I couldn't help but think of  a friend of mine from long ago.  We were best friends for two years in elementary school and remained in touch for sometime after I moved away.  I reconnected with her again shortly after I married and saw her briefly on a trip my husband and I made to Utah.  I discovered that she was suffering from the eating disorder covered in this book.  We lost touch again, reconnected again briefly on Facebook, and then disconnected once again when she left Facebook.  I always think fondly of her.  I thought of her continuously while reading this book--- just wondering if it touched upon her own pain, the parts of her story I will probably never know.  I know a childhood friend of only two years couldn't possibly put things together for her, but oh how I wish I could reach out and just hug her...let her know I still care.  So I write this post for Shelly (I know, you are called Lachelle now...but my best memories of you are Shelly - a.k.a. Kriss 😉  )....that she may know I've never forgotten her...never forgotten how she touched my life...and that I pray for her...pray she has found happiness and health.  Love to you my dear friend.

  Just a picture of a building that holds some memories for me....and Shelly too.  🙂

I thought I'd write a bit today about writing.

I've always loved to write.  I can remember and writing being my first loves from as far back as... well, as far back as I can remember.  Reading was an escape for me and I suppose writing was and is as well.  But I know the 'dream' started in 5th grade.  Mrs. Allred, my ultimate favorite teacher of all time and I suppose this is one of the reasons why, read aloud my story that I had shared with her to the class.  It was a story that was highly influenced by my love of Little House on the Prarie and featured a young girl riding through the prarie to save her younger brother who was suffering from the same illness as her recently deceased mother.  I believe the name of the story was Mary, The Serious Child and may just be laying around here somewhere tucked away with a few other childhood memories as well as my 'humerous' rendition of the three little pigs.

Mrs. Allred praised my work and encouraged me to continue my interests in reading and writing...though she prefered me not to do so during Social Studies! What can I say?  Learning about Brigham Young and Salt Lake City did not do much for me.  I moved away from the praises of Mrs. Allred in Heber City, Utah halfway through my 5th grade year and kept my writing to myself for the most part for the remainder of my school days (though one English teacher did enjoy chuckling at the absurd stories I could make up with spelling words), only keeping the dream alive in the corners of my mind.

Only after early retirement from teaching Learning Support type classrooms in the public schools for ten years did I finally consider making the dream real.  I took two correspondance courses through the Institute of Children's Literature, read lots of books on the subject and joined SCBWI.

Over the course of several years, I completed two manuscripts for early chapter books and worked on several still incomplete picture book manuscripts.  I was just beginning to dive into really figuring out how to send those manuscripts off into publishing land and began a young adult manuscript that I had been pondering over for quite sometime when I found out God was blessing (HUGE surprise) us with our third child.  At that precise time I wasn't exactly thrilled nor sure it was a blessing and my writing got railroaded with nausea, fatigue, and then diapers and more fatigue and, well, life.

But,  now with my blessing of 3 1/2 years, I am grateful for God's amazing ways. He is, indeed, a blessing despite God deciding to do things His way instead of my way.  I'm so glad He does that!  However, I still long to write!!!  So here I am, trying again.  A bit with this blog and maybe one day soon, I'll dust off those manuscripts and do a bit (okay, a LOT) of revision and get busy on some new ones again.  I actually have one thought in mind... but I'm not sharing.  I only have a thought and barely four or five sentences written!

So wish me luck... I'm doing well with keeping up with the blog so far but it's not a habit yet and is just a beginning.  I'm hoping to join SCBWI again soon ( thanks to my darling dh who promised to make it a birthday present!  Maybe an early one?) and take a look at those books again...  maybe today, after mixing up a batch of candied pecans and playing with that little blessing I mentioned,  I'll check out a few blogs by children's authors! Do you know of any good ones out there?