My Five-Year-Old Self Was Right About Mashed Potatoes and This.
Plus a song about being Too Much.
One of the things that has surprised me most about growing up is the extremity to which this Very Type A child became a Very Type B adult. My younger self had the bossy older sister thing down—I wheeled and dealed with the best of them during Beanie Baby Store, and once locked my siblings in the basement because Mom was taking a nap.
Exhibit A, from my Dad’s journal:
I just went downstairs to stop Rachel and Sarah from fighting. Sarah only has two barbies and she only wants Rachel to have two. I said she should let people do what they want and not be so bossy. I said, "you can only really play with two barbies at once, cause you can only hold two barbies at a time." So she picked up four barbies and played with them. Then I said, "but only 1 barbie at a time can talk." She said, "not if they all say the same thing."
Ah, to be that person again. But as an adult, I struggle beyond measure (ask my poor former roommates) deciding what show to watch, or making decisions about anything, really. I feel like in many ways, my twenties were the confidence breakdown and identity reformation I don’t remember really experiencing as a tween/teen. It took moving away and managing things for myself for me to see how much I really didn’t like managing things for myself because it’s terrifying.
But as I’ve gotten even older, I’m starting to feel some of that younger self coming back. Some of that stubbornness and grit and whimsy. And there are some things my five-year-old self was very right about. For example:
Mashed potatoes are always, always a good idea. Just the best food.
Aurora’s dress is best when it’s blue.
Everyone should be more like Steve Irwin.
Ms. Frizzle has the best clothes.
Shel Silverstein is the best poet.
Life is wonderful, and you can blast through any wall in front of you.
To hark back to my guru/life-coach/spirit guide Leslie Knope, I am a natural bulldozer (which has its pros and cons).
There are lots of great things to be, but a bulldozer is where my natural instincts tend, and while us bulldozers have to be extra, extra careful not to bulldoze people (never a good idea), I’m excited to be feeling some of that younger self’s bulldozing strength in my shoulders again as I charge at whatever that thing is right there.
From the Writing Desk: August was…intense. But honestly, in the best way. I finished and turned in my next middle grade spooky book (mwahaha!). I worked on a collaborative contemporary middle grade verse project I’m doing with a friend, and I’m super excited at how it’s coming together. I got some artwork for a secret project I hopefully get to talk about soon, and revised a chapter book I’m working on that my agent and I will hopefully take on submission very soon. I’m honestly in awe that I get to do all this. In a lot of ways, this last month was many things happening that have been months and even years in the works.
Most important of which…we had a book come out!! Thank you all so, so much for the incredible support you’ve already given for The Nightmare House. This book means a lot to me, and I hope it finds its readers. I’m excited to see what happens with it as we move forward!
And I have an ask…if you have a minute, would you leave a review of Nightmare House on Amazon? It makes a huge difference with the algorithm gods, which is frustrating, but there we are. Even just a sentence or two about the gorgeous cover by Angie Hewitt is just as helpful! You guys are the best!
What I’m Reading: The best thing I read all month (and in a long time) was A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga. It mixed science and whimsy, humor and heart, which is my favorite combination, and did it all with such a spectacular voice. I definitely got One and Only Ivan vibes, and it was one of those books that just made me want to go write.
What I’m Watching: Look, we know we love K dramas around here, and I’ll tell you why. Because they lean in hard. They don’t restrict themselves from being melodramatic and quirky and whimsical. They don’t think they’re not allowed to put serial killers and butt jokes in the same show. I would love western television to take some of that.
In other words I’m watching Behind Your Touch and it is absolutely wonderful and delightful.
I wrote a little song! I’ve been inspired by Elyse Myers and Doctor Waffles and some of the other songwriters I’ve been watching.
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What I’m Drawing: Snakespeare has a whole cadre of friends, like Edgar Alan Crow and Dogstoevsky, but this lil comic is just about him and his favorite movie.
“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”
Fyodr Dostoevsky, The Brother’s Karamazov
Writing Opportunity: Dragon Soul Press has extended their deadline for their witchy anthology until September 30th. Plus they’ve got a lot of other anthology calls out at the moment that you might find of interest!
Teacher or Librarian? I would love to do a free virtual Q&A with your class or book group! If you’re interested in scheduling a visit you can reach out to me via my website. Let me know how I can support you! I’ve also got free classroom resources to accompany each book. You guys are rock stars!
Thanks for coming along everyone! I’d be honored if you forwarded this to anyone you thought might find it useful. Onward!
Thanks for reading!