Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Once Upon a Time...
I took off from work Monday & Tuesday to enjoy some good ol' vacation time at home. I refused to do laundry, refused to vacuum, refused to wash dishes - instead, I slept late each morning, treated myself to the pregnancy massage Hubby bought me as a Christmas gift, took naps, read, worked on my newest novel, and visited my local library.
The library visit was extra fun, for multiple reasons. Ever since donating a copy of my published work, Midnight Angel, to my local branch, I've been waiting for it to hit the shelves - this was LAST JANUARY. Every month, I've faithfully checked the computer system, hoping it would have been processed and, better yet - checked out! =) I finally asked about the delay and they explained that donated books go to the downtown branch to be processed and that donated books aren't priority and can take up to a year to process.
Sigh. I had hopes several months ago when I called to check the status, because the manager recognized my name over the phone and apologized for the wait, even said he was looking forward to having me come in for a signing later because he truly wanted to support local authors. Still no book! Well, this January marks one year, and at yesterday's visit, I logged into the computer and did an author search - and my name popped up!!! My book was processed and was on order for that particular branch. Yay! It was SO COOL seeing my name pop up in the library catalogue under author. My book has been out in print for a year but that was one of my favorite moments of the entire process thus far - the chillbump kind! =)
After that discovery, still glowing, I wandered over to the kid's section to stroll down memory lane. I became completely nostalic as I walked the aisles, fingertips trailing over the hard covers of my favorite childhood books - the "Betsy" books, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, some individual horse titles. I found my soft-cover favorites as well - the Babysitters Club, Saddle Club, the "Mandy" books, etc. I then found the Newberry award section and pulled "From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" off the shelf. The smell of that hardback book I'd read enough times to memorize filled my nostrils and I actually swayed on my feet - that good kind of dizzy that transports you, that makes you feel like somehow you're nine years old again and holding the same copy you held that day, wondering where its been in the years since your last journey together.
I realized then, after thumbing through various copies of my favorite titles, that children's literature was truly golden in the 1960's. I'm not kidding. All the hardback classics, all the kids and Ya books that really touched my soul and made memories in my heart were ALL written in the 1960's! A Wrinkle In Time. From The Mixed-Up Files. Island of the Blue Dolphins. And many more. What was it about that time period that made those books so amazing, so timeless? What did those authors have that we don't today? What is the difference?!?
I plan to find out.
I didn't even care if I looked silly, this almost 24-year-old woman carrying a Newberry children's hardback book to the register to check out. I went home and read the entire thing that afternoon - and you know what? It was just as good as I remembered.