Why I write

I met author, illustrator Ashley Bryan today at the SCBWI children’s book conference in LA.   His inspirational acceptance speech for the Golden Kite award for his picture book autobiography changed my life…He read the poem THINGS by Eloise Greenfield which he joyfully sang out to us and  had us recite back  in the format of a negro spiritual: It changed my life.  Maybe it will change yours…

So repeat after me…
Things – byEloise Greenfield:       (Things by Eloise Greenfield)
Went to the corner   (Went to the corner)
Walked in the store  (Walked in the store)
Bought me some candy  ( Bought be some candy)
Ain’t got it no more     (Ain’t got it no more)
Went to the beach                   (Went to the beach)
Played on the shore                (Played on the shore)
Built me a sandhouse             (Built me a sandhouse)
Ain’t got it no more                (Ain’t got it no more)
Went to the kitchen                (Went to the kitchen)
Lay down on the floor          (Lay down on the floor)
Made me a poem                     (Made me poem)
Still got it                                   (Still got it)

Still got it!

” If you write what you love and you impart what you love to even one person, then you are like a shaman, like one who heals,” said Bryan.

Thank you Ashley Bryan.  I know now why I write.  And I know now why I love writing for children.

Thank you Ashley Bryan for your inspiration and the gift of your art, your poetry and your spirit.  Today you have changed my life.