Monday, August 3, 2009

The kindness of strangers

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about why I write for children. But that post didn't explore one of the great fringe benefits of being part of the children's literature world -- the many wonderful people you meet along the way.

I started this blog less than a month ago, partly because a total stranger gave me a little push. Corey Schwartz, author of the Eric Carle Museum Book of Distinction Hop! Plop!, read some nice comments about Maggie's Monkeys at PB Planet, where Ame Dyckman dishes up fun servings of picture book reviews and peanut butter recipes.

After Corey tracked me down on FaceBook, I decided to establish a blog as a way to have a public presence. Corey, whose funny and forthright blog is Thing 1 and Thing 2, and Ame were both supportive and encouraging, even though they didn't know me from Eve. Since then, a few others have found their way to this little corner of the blogosphere through them.

Now Corey has featured me as a guest blogger in her new series of posts about authors overcoming rejection. I hope the story of Maggie and Jack's long road to publication inspires other authors the same way the welcoming reception from fellow bloggers has inspired me.

While I haven't spent a lot of time connecting with other lovers of children's books online, I have met plenty in real life. And almost without exception they are warm and generous. I don't know whether reading lots of children's books creates wonderful people or whether wonderful people tend to read lots of children's books, but either way I'm happy and grateful to be part of such an open, supportive community.