It’s that time of year for me when I have to think of renewing memberships, registering for conferences and seminars all while maintaining my writing schedule. As a “pre-published” author, I feel comfortable working at my own pace but I also feel stress that my pace may not be good enough. I want to sign up for anything and everything that could help propel me forward as a published author. All of them valuable events, but no conference or seminar will do me any good unless I continue to get words on a page.
After resisting maintaining a blog for years, first because I had no idea of how to go about setting one up, secondly because I thought maintaining it would keep me away from my writing. After launching the blog in 2014, I find that the need to update this blog regularly requires me to have new ideas. Those ideas come from my concentration on my manuscripts, either physically writing them – or doing research.
I was out and about doing a bit of research at the Suffolk County Historical Society yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day and in the long snowy, subzero winter that we are having the day was a welcome invitation to get out of the house. The Antique doll collection on exhibit included African American dolls. The entire collection was impressive to see, but when I saw the African American dolls I truly felt that I was looking back in history. My own memory as well as recollections of the stories my mother used to share about her childhood in rural Georgia in the 1920’s and 30’s suddenly felt like they happened last month. I could see the remnants of struggles for freedom and equality represented in those dolls. Dolls that reflect the times from which they were created. Dolls intended to provide comfort to young children in times when comfort was not a luxury. They were simple handmade cloth dolls, some with porcelain faces and yarn for hair and eyes. They were not all that different than the white dolls in the exhibit. They represent childhood and innocence and they represent me. It’s interesting when research for a picture book story brings things so close to home. It creates a need for reflection.