Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast"

I’m staying in James Thurber’s house in Columbus, Ohio.  I’m honored to be this year’s Thurber House Children’s Writer in Residence. I can’t believe a week has already passed since I arrived. Everyone here is so welcoming, and rightfully proud of how much their city has to offer. I’ve only started to go exploring, because I've been busy writing my new novel.

I’ve already done some great work here – how could I help it with this as a writing space?
Okay, I’m kidding. That’s the desk in James Thurber’s bedroom.

This is a picture of my own. Even if I'm not actually able to sit at his desk, it’s so inspiring to be here.  I feel connected not just to Thurber, but to all the dozens of other writers who have stayed in the attic. Who've heard the ghostly creak of the stairs. Who've watched the storm clouds cross the Ohio sky from the garret window. Who've left a bit of themselves behind on the bookshelf. Thank you all for keeping me company!

This past week, I’ve given workshops to five different groups and met nearly one hundred young writers. I envy their imaginations and I'm impressed by how bravely they worked. Some had never written a story before. I'm sure some others have already written more books than I have.

After giving a workshop at the Worthington Library, I got the chance to share some tea in the children's section with another favorite literary figure of mine. 

That reminded me of something the Queen tells Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. "Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Staying here in James Thurber's house makes it easy to believe impossible things!