Getting the chance to be an "awesome person" on the Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal book promotion team last summer. Having the certificate to prove it.
Bookshelf + Amy Krouse Rosenthal books = treasure
Books she returned to for inspiration again and again: A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey; Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Stieg; and Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Interestingly, I have only read Sylvester, though I have seen a stage version of Our Town and have zero memory of it though people always say it's sad. See also: Favorites, mine
Encylopedia of an Ordinary Life. Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons. Little Pea. Ok, ALL OF THEM.
I had the honor of interviewing Amy Krouse Rosenthal in 2009 for my class at Big Picture Classes, Inspiration Defined. Here is part of that piece:
Q. How would you describe your creative process?
A. Crunchy on the outside, with a soft caramel center. I get my best ideas in unexpected moments; the shower, driving, rock concerts, to name a few. I am neither a morning person nor a night owl—I do my best work in the afternoon. And always with some hot coffee by my side.
Q. What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?
A. Life. (both the existential reality, and the cereal.)
Q. How do you organize the ideas you gather and collect so you can easily find and use them later?
A. I jot a lot of ideas down on my hand and on random scraps of paper. I am a strong believer in writing down ideas when they come . . . otherwise they migrate into the ethers, never to be seen by you again.
Q. How do you find your way out of a creative block?
A. Switch gears, work on something else. I find it best to have a lot of ideas cooking at once. Or, when all else fails: sleep.
Q. What is the wisest piece of creative advice you’ve ever received?
A. You don't have to be the absolute very best at what you're doing; be the ONLY one doing what you're doing. In other words, find and cultivate YOUR voice, YOUR thing.
Little Oink, which I have torn apart our house and bookshelves twice looking for without success. Where are you, Little Oink?
To pursue creativity and perspective in a way that honors her legacy.
POLITICS AND PROSE
The bookstore in Washington, D.C. where Jill, Laurel and Jonah, our friend Melanie, one of her kids, my parents, Gracie, Bridget, and I went to hear Amy Krouse Rosenthal speak as well as get some books signed. Poor Maddie, left behind at school.
A common thread in Amy Krouse Rosenthal's writing and thought process. I think of my Grandma Rinehart when I see butterflies; I will forever think of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and the Live Rainbow Feed when I see rainbows. Speaking of which, this one appeared in my kitchen shortly after she died. Not a coincidence, but a nice reminder to pay attention.
Me, unapologetically. And, I'm no bandwagon fan; after a quick search to find the oldest mention of her on my computer, I found this email to my cousin Julie dated January 4, 2006:
I wanted to point out a really cool website of an author I like a lot... her name is Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her site is www.mommymommy.com*. I've read two of her books: one for adults called Encyclopedia of an Ordinary LIfe (which I think you would love) and Little Pea which is a children's book we all love, too. Her site has lots of funny motherhood stuff in it, and she might be someone you could contact/work with in Mommy Hullabaloo somehow. She is based in Chicago and has done work with NPR in addition to her writing.
Hope you all had a fun Christmas and are gearing up for a good 2006!
*Incidentally, www.mommymommy.com changed to www.whoisamy.com at some point.