When I read Faith Hough's post about how if she could pick her own fairy godmother, Madeline L'Engle would be hers, I thought, hmmm, who's that person for me?
And you know, I didn't have to think for more than a second.
For fiction writing, there's two: Julius Lester, whom I have written of previously. Man, I love him.
And also Katherine Paterson. How many times have I read her book of speeches, A SENSE OF WONDER: On Reading and Writing Books for Children
SO MANY TIMES.
Among many other things, she says, "my feeling as I worked was not so much that of a creator as that of an explorer. Here was a hidden world that it was my task to discover. If I failed, this world would remain forever unknown."
I love that. It gives me courage to go on.
For poetry, it's another male/female unrelated duo:
Pat Schneider, author of WRITING ALONE AND THIS OTHERS, has provided a lamplight for me again and again.
Here's what she says about quitting:
"What if you decide you don't want to do it anymore?
Well, quit. Quit if you can. Entirely, I mean. Give it up. Find another art form. If it is more than you can bear, don't bear it. Sometimes even a great love ends in divorce.
But if you can't quit, keep on. Love is deeper than hate. Anyone who has lived in a longtime relationship knows the truth of that statement. The harder it is, the deeper it carves you, the more love you have.
Whatever you do, don't stay in that never-never land of wanting and not doing. It will make your soul sick. If you want to write, claim for yourself what you need in order to learn, grow, practice. There is no other way to be an artist."
And then there's Robert Olen Butler, who is not a poet per se, but for whatever reason, his muse speaks to my poetic muse more so than my prose one. I've previously blogged here about him and his book FROM WHERE YOU DREAM.
So that's me. What about you, dear readers? Who are your fairy godmothers?