Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for People Who Need People (Barbra Streisand)

Okay, I have to admit something. I love Barbra Streisand. A lot.

I especially LOVE her nose. I have a thing for noses...kinda like some people have a thing for brunettes.

Earlier this week I watched a hilarious Streisand movie called "What's Up Doc?" It reminded me how much I love to listen to this amazing woman sing (and how much I love to look at her nose). And how fun it is to watch a movie with your bestest friend.

I just burned my cheese sandwich because I was trying to write this blog. :(

My very favoritest song sung by Barbra Streisand is "People Who Need People." I have a really good friend who also loves this song and when we're together and either one of us starts out with "people..." the other will come in and together we'll sing "people who need people are the luckiest people in the world..." More than the lyrics my bond with that really good friend (whose blog you should also read-- From Sarah, With Joy) over this song has taught me just how much of a "person who needs people" I really am. Was that last sentence awkward? ...yeah.

I am a writer because my mom is a writer. Well, maybe that's not entirely true, but I think it made a big difference. My mom loved helping me write stories for class or for fun and when I was in high school I realized just how much I loved to write stories too. I've always been a reader. I was going to say bookworm, but I honestly was'nt quite like that. I read a lot when I was younger, but not THAT much. I loved the Boxcar Children Mysteries--Yellow House Mystery was my favorite. Then I grew into outdoor adventure stories like the ones Gary Paulsen writes (namely Hatchet). I zipped through the Harry Potter books like crazy. When I got to college I explored classical E.M. Forster novels, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf. I fell in love with Holden in The Catcher in the Rye. I even took a few minutes to skim through Twilight and The Hunger Games. As I studied creative writing at university I slowly realized that authors are real people! I was very lucky to meet a whole bunch of published writers AND to work with them on my own writing. Carol Lynch Williams. John Bennion. Pat Madden. Ron Woods. Ann Dee Ellis. Rick Walton. Kathleen Duey. Each of these writerly people have made all the difference in my development as a writer, and they've connected me with amazing opportunities for more learning and for getting my foot in the door of publishing. I needed these people to help me get to where I am now (almost done with my first novel, and almost ready to submit to agents--who I've already met!).

Okay, listen to the song and then I'll talk about one reason I like to read and write children's lit.

"Letting all the grown-up pride hide all the need inside.
Acting more like children than children."

Contemporary YA is what I'm writing now. And in YA there is a lot of hiding feelings, trying to be "grown-up" and, of course, acting childish. I can identify with that. The thing about children though is you can be raw, honest, bold. Sometimes it seems like you can be more honest in fiction than you can in real-life, and in children's literature you take on a whole different level of honesty than you can in other genres. I like that. The best part about books is the people. Not just the made-up ones in my head, but the made-up ones in other people's heads. If I write a book and ten people read it there will be 11 completely different stories/connections/worlds/characters because a reader doesn't just read what's there--they create images and ideas from the words I put on the page. I need people. My made-up people need people. And I like to think that people need my made-up people and by extension, me.

Who do you need?

Write on!

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