I am a writer. My first novel, Things I Wanted To Do Today, will be published by HarperPerennial in Winter of 2010. I've been at this writing thing a long time - forever - if you really want to know. And while it holds probably the worst guarantee of providing a living, ever, I can think of nothing else I'd rather do. Believe me, I've tried.
I was one of those awkward little kids who read early ( barely 4, when I randomly picked up a textbook belonging to my then home from college uncle, and wandered back into the dining room of my grandparents' home where the adults lingered over the remains of Sunday dinner, to read them what I'd found) and spent sunny Saturdays in the library picking and choosing until the librarian tapped me on the shoulder at closing time or my arms were already so full from my selections that I knew I would have to stop several times just to shake the blood back into them on my walk home. And I read fast, my Saturday selections barely kept me till Thursday when I would find myself back at the library again, haunting the stacks.
It was in second grade in 1968, at John F. Kennedy Memorial Elementary school that I first became aware of the writers' who crafted the stories I devoured. At a teacher's urging I wrote my first real love letter to the fictional family created by Sydney Taylor, the author of the All-Of-A-Kind-Family series of books. When Mrs Taylor wrote back and told me how much she loved what she did for a living, a door opened that I have simply refused to close.
But why am I here? Have you lost patience with me already? I'm here because I need to be. I want you to know me before my book is out in the world. Because after all this time of living in my head, I need to be out here for just a while. To blow the stink off, as my Nona would say as she gently pushed me out the door to play on a warm afternoon. And even though I'd sneak a book, tucked beneath my arm, and sit on the swing and read, the sun warming my shoulders and the top of my head felt good. I knew what she meant. Everyone needed a change of scenery, a different perspective. It was good to be out. And so, I hope, it will be good to be here.