Hubby and I went to see Moonrise Kingdom last weekend. Going in, I had no expectations, I hadn’t heard much of anything about it. I love to be surprised by a story, regardless of the form (book, movie, country song, friend’s experience, etc).
A delightful surprise!
In case you want to be as clueless as me, I will refrain from posting a summary here. It’s quirky and irreverent – chocked full of big stars playing peripheral roles – but it’s also sweet and funny. Mostly, it’s about needing love. If you have any kind of tie to scouting, (or an opinion of scouts) you’ll laugh even harder.
Suzy Bishop, the young heroine, won my heart when she opened the heavy suitcase she’d been dragging through the fields and woods, up and over rocks and cliffs while running away from home. It was full of books. Besides her cat, record player, and binoculars, that was what she needed to survive. Me too, Suzy. Me too!
I am making preparations to teach a class on Writing for Children which starts at the end of the month. I am thrilled – I had such a very fabulous time with the course on Writing Picture books that I taught with Andrea Zimmerman this past summer – it is fun to be a place where I can be excited about books! Stories! Characters! Objective Corelatives!
One of my lovely students in the last class went to the Library of Congress and brought me back the bookmark shown to the left. It includes a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “I can not live without books.” I’m right there with you, TJ. Knowing how inventive and creative and open-minded Mr. Jefferson was, I’m sure he meant to include ereaders of all shapes and sizes. It’s the content, after all, that matters.
In thinking of how I can help my future students achieve their goals and to help them craft their stories, if I could only give them one piece of advice it would be this: READ.
It’s a huge requirement of the MFA program at Vermont College – and is why I still always have an enormous stack of books at the ready.
I am firm believer that you have to read the genre (and age-group) books that you want to write. And I believe in reading the best. The ones that win awards, that make the ALA lists, that get good reviews, that get buzzed about on blogs. Even more importantly, the books that friends tell me to read.
Be like Suzy. Binoculars help too.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK