Monday, April 6, 2009

JUDY BLUME!!!

If you are around my age, "Judy Blume" is a name you know as well as "Miss Piggy" and "Bob Barker" and "Molly Ringwald" and "Michael Jordon" and "Mork from Ork" . . . I read everything Ms. Blume wrote when I was young (even some of her naughty adult stuff that I smuggled into my book bag).  My third grade teacher Mrs. Carter always encouraged and (in fact) pushed me to become a writer, but it wasn't until I read Judy Blume's books that I actually thought that I could write.  Her books were about real people--the kind of people whom I actually knew.  Her work was funny, smart, accessible and controversial.  I couldn't get enough.

Fast forward about thirty years . . . 

When I found out that Judy Blume would be in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to receive the 2009 Southern Mississippi Medallion at their annual children's book festival, I just couldn't miss seeing her.

She is a beautiful woman and a beautiful speaker.  She began her speech by admitting that she loved her library copy of Madeline  so much that she hid it in the back of her toy drawer so that she wouldn't have to return it.  She had related so completely to brave little Madeline and the lovely world created by Ludwig Bemelmans.  Ms. Blume spoke about her stand against censorship and her desire to write books that she wished had been around when she was young. She spoke endearingly about her mother and the rest of her supportive, wonderful family--even tearing up a few times.  She spoke about how parents and children can communicate through literature, and how literature creates a safe place to have those discussions.  And, as in all great speeches, Ms. Blume finished her talk by returning to the beginning saying that she constantly strived  to get rid of the critics and censors and "go deep inside to that place where [she] can be a brave and strong as Madeline."

Needless to say, she got a standing ovation.  And, lots of teary listeners.

After her speech, I was able to stand in line for a few hours and have my books signed. When I finally made it into the room where JUDY BLUME was sitting, I was so nervous that I took about ten pictures that looked like this:

















Then, I put down my purse and steadied my camera with both of my hands and was able to get one picture like this:















And, here we are:

















Plus, I haven't even told you about all the other amazing, authors at the conference:   Louise Bordon, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ashley Bryan, Yuyi Morales, Arthur Yorinks, and John Green. Surely, some magic, genius fairy dust has landed on me.  Right?

sf

 

17 comments:

Katie said...

The fairy dust HAS landed. I saw an email earlier to prove it :-)

I'm sick I missed Mrs. Blume! Can't wait to hear about the rest!

Lisa and Laura said...

Do you remember when Forever was practically considered porn back in 7th grade?

Gawd, I loved that book.

Love the pics and so jealous. Please send some of your best-selling author fairy dust our way!

Little Ms J said...

I'm so glad you got to meet her and share your pics, fuzzy or not!

I get the distinct feeling that you guys have something up your sleeve(s) or some good news to share soon... I'm on to you!

Suzanne Young said...

SF, you fit right in with those awesome writers. :-) Can't wait to hear more!

EJ Griffin said...

Oh, Judy Blume, how I love thee!Definite fairy dust.

The only way that day could have been any be better is if Julie Andrews walked in and broke into a spot on rendition of "Raindrops on Roses" (with Judy singing back up).

Then you would have reached nirvana. There'd absolutely no point in going on.

Katie said...

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on kittens..

OMG I am going to be singing that all day!

Nirvana for SURE!

Hardygirl said...

Okay, Lila . . . remember "Meet Ralph"?????

Ah, Ms. J, you will be one of the first to know if anything wonderful happens. I have been in this biz long enough to know that premature excitement can be the kiss of death.

Thank you Suz. Someday perhaps . . .

And, YES, EJ. If Maria had walked in singing and handing me a dress made of curtains that would have knocked me to my knees.

sf

Paul Äertker said...

I love it: you were able to mix Judy Blume with Michael Jordan and Bob Barker. That's good. :~)

Anne Spollen said...

Judy Blume! Remember when you wanted to be a character in one of her books? Now, we all want to be HER...

Jeannie Campbell said...

just wanted to say hello....saw your comment on nathan bransford and thought i'd drop in. i'm originalyl from oxford and am returning at the end of may! so that was so weird to see your comment...small world! check out my blog when you have a chance...
http://mindhealingfiction.blogspot.com
i'll be following yours!
jeannie (mood) campbell

Jay Asher said...

There's you...and there's Judy Blume. In the same picture!!!

I am so jealous, but so happy you got to meet her!

Colorado Writer said...

WOW! I'm so jealous.

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow, wow, wow!!!! What an experience!!!

Stephanie Perkins said...

JUDY BLUME! Ahhhh!!!

I'm so happy you met THE QUEEN. Love the pictures!

(Also, Yuyi Morales and John Green? Heaven.)

EJ Griffin said...

Katie - you're welcome ; ) Try this one now, "I am sixteen, going on seventeen..."

SF- Lucky, lucky lady!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Omigosh! I LOVE Judy Blume. All of her books. And I love that she can appeal to readers on such different levels. My son will probably never read Forever or Are You There God?, but he loves the Fudge books and The Pain and the Great One. She is such a great writer!!

a brilliant blog said...

sf, did you get your hair cut?
Judy Blume is so lovely. I emailed her once and she never emailed me back. And there you are with her. I should have slipped my question through you to her. Although I can't remember what the question was...maybe I just wanted to connect with her.

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