Sunday, March 8, 2009
Yesterday I spent the morning cleaning my house from top to bottom. At 3 pm, finally finished, I lay down on the sofa in my bedroom to spend the rest of the day reading. I had found a book in my daughter’s room with a curious cover. I thought I’d give it a look through as it appears I am slowly falling into writing young adult books and like to see what other writers are up to. I opened the cover at 3 pm and, save for a stop to water the garden and watch Kid Nation (scary show, BTW) , didn’t close the book until page 186, the last page, at about 9:30pm.
I think now, with all of this crap negative energy being poured on us, we should all sit down and read Stargirl, excellent medicine for a sad mind. It's also a great book to celebrate Women's Day with. We all went through high school in one form or another and we know conformity was the way to get through. If you believed in it or you didn’t was not an issue. You conformed so that people left you alone.
Stargirl doesn’t understand the whole concept. She is herself. She gives personal concerts on her ukulele for people celebrating their birthdays. She leaves flowers at strangers' houses who she reads in the newspaper are in the hospital. She cheers for both sides during the basketball games because everyone is happy when a point is scored- right? Well not exactly, she soon realises. Leo loves Stargirl exactly as she is, or so he thinks. But he knows if she would conform it would make life so much easier for both of them.
Jerry Spinelli writes so unobtrusively; it is like the words just fell on the page in the exact way that the story needs to be read. I think every teenager should get to read this book, every adult too.
At the end of this copy of the book, there is an interview with the writer. It was portentous given the recent conversation we had here on this blog about writing for love or money, that at the very end of the interview Mr Spinelli is asked, “What advice do you have for young writers?” (I would think his answer could apply to us old writers too.) He said,” For me, there are many little rules, all superseded by one Golden Rule: Write what you care about.”
HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!!