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Muffins and Mayhem, Recipes for a Happy (if disorderly) Life
AUTHORBUZZ: Discover new books, "meet" the authors and enter to win: Goto: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader
It's vacation time for me. My husband and I are doing, doing, going, going places and building a tree house with our four grandchildren, Bailey (17), Seth (15), Paul (5) and James (3). Bestselling, YA author Gwendolyn Heasley, has graciously offered to fill-in for me today. When Gwendolyn was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin--the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter's Club series. Gwendolyn lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. A LONG WAY FROM YOU is her second novel and she's hard at work on a third book.
Email Gwendolyn, welcome her to the book club. She will personally reply and enter you in her book giveaway. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I loved her column, and by the way, I wanted to be a missionary when I grew up. What did you want to be?
What Did the Kid Version of You Want to Be When You Grew Up?
When I speak to schools, I always ask students what they want to be when they grow up. In particular, elementary school students' hands always shoot up, and they answer with total, unwavering confidence. At one visit, a little boy yelled out "Solider." "Pet detective," a little girl said. (The other kids nodded while us "adults" wondered what that was exactly.) Out of a group of 300 students at one school visit, only a few didn't raise their hand. But yet when I talk to college students, very few of them seem to know what they want to be or if they do, they lack confidence in their abilities to make it happen. So I urge them to remember what they wanted to be when they were little because I think often our younger selves know best. And for that very reason, I also urge elementary students to tell their parents and their friends about their dreams (and to write them down) because I don't ever want these kids to forget what their younger selves dreamed of doing.
I learned this lesson through writing. When I was little, I went to the bookstore every month to pick up the most recent Baby-Sitter's Club book. And anytime someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up: I knew without a doubt. I'd be a children's author. (I actually wanted to be Ann M. Martin, but she was taken.) As I got older and realized how hard it was to become an author, I forgot my dream as if it were an old stuffed animal I outgrew. I majored in English, but not to become an author, just because that's what I was best at. I didn't even take a creative writing class in college. In a "practical move," I went to graduate journalism school. About a month after finishing school and moving to Manhattan, the recession hit. I couldn't get a journalism job--or any job. So I lived with my parents and for the first time in a decade, I wrote fiction: a story about a teenage girl dealing with the recession. That story became my first novel.
One day, I realized I had achieved my childhood dream. My five-year-old self would've told me "Duh!," but my twenty-something self lacked that confidence and conviction. Now whenever I'm feeling confused, I remember to listen to the little girl I once was. It turned out she knew me pretty well.
To enter her book drawing, send an email with your mailing address (in case you win) to: email@example.com
* Congratulations to the winners of SMALL DAMAGES by guest columnist Beth Kephart: Sharon Berger, Madeline Mora-Summonte and Nancy H. Reynolds.
** Enter the 8th Annual Write a Dear Reader Contest! Simply write for fun. Read all about it at: http://www.dearreader.com/contest2012
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
* This month's Penguin Classics book is THE HARBOR by Ernest Poole. Start reading now and enter to win a Penguin totebag. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/July12Classics
AUTHORBUZZ: THE EMPTY GLASS (Thriller) by J.I. Baker
Who killed Marilyn Monroe? That question was first asked on August 5, 1962, when the most famous woman in the world was found dead in LA. Fifty years later, the mystery endures--why was no water glass found in her bedroom? Why did the people she trusted all lie? The answers to these (and other) questions fuel my new conspiracy thriller.
Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader click on THE EMPTY GLASS to read more and to email author J.I. Baker, you'll get a reply.