Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: How do you want to be remembered?

Yesterday was a sad day for all of us in the kidlit community. Mr. Maurice Sendak, author of over a dozen Picture Books, passed away. To me, he was someone I didn't understand until I was older. I was one of the stranger kids who grew up actually not liking Where the Wild Things Are. But when I had kids of my own, and when I began my adventure of writing, I understood him. He wasn't a fan of the sugary-sweet, cookie-cutter stories that many of us think we need to write. He told things how they were, and any interview with him only proved that point. To say he thought outside the box, is a gross understatement. And I cherish him for that.

He once said, "Children have ferocious fantasies." How true is that?! I really think that when HE wrote, he crawled into the exact mind frame of a child. He understood them. He understood what made them imagine. He got it.

All day long yesterday, I was kind of in this distraught, melancholy state. It's been a hard week for me, started by the awful passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch last Friday. He, too, was a great part of my childhood and teen years. But I started to think about the things people have been saying about both of these talented men. Mr. Sendak had a reputation to be brash, frank, and a little obscene (for a children's author) in his interviews. But, he also was seen as a creative genius. He wasn't what you'd picture a writer of children's books to be like. He was simply... Maurice.
"The children know. They have always known. But we choose to think otherwise: it hurts to know the children know. If we obfuscate, they will not see. Thus we conspire to keep them from knowing and seeing. And if we insist, then the children, to please us, will make believe they do not know, they do not see. They are remarkable--patient, loving, and all-forgiving." -- Maurice Sendak


Thinking about his life and what he contributed to my own, I started to ponder what I might be remembered for one day; Would it be my ability to offer help to others in really crappy situations? Would it be my mothering (in)capabilities? Would it be that at one time in my life I was a strange gothic child? Would it be my love of popcorn or my terrible fear of balloons? Or would it be my books, even?

I think it'd be grand to be remembered as a writer who loved all things peaceful and bizarre. I'd want my books to hold a special place in someone's heart, even if that means just in my childrens'.

So, reflecting upon Mr. Sendak's life, answer this:
As a writer, how do YOU want to be remembered?



Thanks for stopping by, today. Happy writing, reflecting, and reading. 

And Mr. Sendak, may you forever be known as KING of all wild things.



15 comments:

  1. It's a great question, and I think I would like to be remembered for inspiring hope. As a kid, books so often brought me comfort and hope that life could be different

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    1. I love that, Joanna. That made me smile big time. :)

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  2. I was very sad with the passing of Maurice Sendak too. What great idea to pay tribute to him with a "ponder" post!

    I would like to be remembered as an author that encouraged parents to read and have fun with their kids.

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    1. I think you're well on your way to doing just that!! You encourage ME daily, so I can only imagine how many others you influence!

      Thanks, Eric!

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  3. To be like Kirsten: help create curious kids.
    Also to help curious kids create.
    From those things will spring love, appreciation and the healing of our world.

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    1. Lovely! That's very beautiful, Julie. I'm sure you will do just that. :)

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  4. Thanks for this tribute to a wonderful writer, Bethany! And what a good question to ponder. I would like to be known for making history and Scripture come alive to my readers, and motivate them to be courageous in whatever situation God places them...

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    1. I absolutely have NO doubt that that is what you'll be remembered for... Plus much more!

      Thanks for sharing!

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  5. What a great way to give tribute to Mr. Sendak...ponder our writing legacy. I'd like to be remembered as a writer that encouraged the questions to continue long after the book has been read (by both adults and early learners).

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    1. Oooh! I like that! Yes... That'd be a great thing to be remembered for. Love it!

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  6. The NYT obit for Sendak was a wonderful, true picture of him. My late husband and I read a book once that mentioned in its front matter "X gave a damn." We joked that he would be remembered that way. In fact, I would like the same for me. Stacy gave a damn.

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    1. Hahahaha!! Wonderful, Stacy!! Thanks!

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  7. Wow, this is a great question Bethany! I'm thinking I'd like to remembered as a caring person who always tried to keep on the positive side of life. As for remembering my books (or future books), I'd like my family to be proud of me and have the courage to try their hands at whatever makes them happy too.

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    1. I think having your family be proud of you is most important! And then, yes, influencing them to acheive their dreams is an excellent goal. Wonderful!!

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  8. I'd also think it fitting for my epitaph to see "she enjoyed a good potluck"!

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