Between Superstorm Sandy and Thanksgiving, posting on this blog has really taken a hit this month. (No pun intended.) With the holidays approaching faster than I’d like – Hanukkah is early this year – I needed to give myself a pep talk and get my rear truly in gear. In an effort to get a jump on December, I spent a fair amount of this past weekend making holidays plans and preparations. With holiday cards, letters, decorations, and even some gifts under my belt, it’s time to focus on writing. Especially after the wonderful feedback I’ve received as I begin the revision process! Can’t let all that good advice and insight go to waste.
Living in New York has many advantages – no, I don’t count the Macy’s Parade as one of them – and one of my favorites is the many museums, libraries, and galleries. Oddly enough, I hadn’t visited the Morgan Library and Museum until recently. Why, I don’t know. It’s right up my alley – fabulous building, beautiful library, great exhibits – but it took an advertisement on the subway to stop me cold and get me in the door: “Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters.” I loved reading her books to Nina when she was very small, and I enjoyed the cozy mysteries inspired by Potter’s life written by Susan Wittig Albert a few years ago. Those mysteries gave me a taste for Miss Potter, and I followed up by reading Linda Lear’s wonderful biography, A Life in Nature.
To see Potter’s actual picture letters,plus other drawings, sketches, manuscripts and artifacts, was inspirational. To share it with my daughter, who remembered her fondness for Mrs. Tiggywinkle, Benjamin Bunny, and many other woodland friends, was precious. Viewing the original art and work that became these treasured books, and seeing Nina begin to understand how a writer’s life affects her art and the small things that become our inspiration was wonderful. (Even sweeter was her offer to search for acorns during the subsequent walk in the park to help with my book.)
That lovely afternoon was just one of the many things I was thankful for this past weekend. Now, as I look at the postcard with its image of a neat letter with sketches of a mouse in bed pinned to my inspiration board, I have renewed faith in my ability to see my own work through to its conclusion. Time to put all that great feedback to good use!
And yes, Donna – I have Miss Potter on my to-watch list of movies. Thanks for the tip. 😉