Happy Birthday, Judy Blume!

Today is the birthday of literary royalty!  Happy birthday, Judy Blume!  I was reflecting a lot about my love of Judy Blume books as a kid and now as an adult.  I consider them to be part of my rather large shelf of mentor texts.  I was waiting for the right time to share this, and I figure today is the day!

Thank You for Being a Friend: Judy Blume’s Colorful Characters

When I was eight years old, I met Fudge Hatcher and his brother Peter for the first time.  I had loved the television show and watched it over and over again with my sister and mom.  Then I got the entire four-book set (back in 1996, it included Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great, but Double Fudge was not written yet) at a school book fair.  I was hooked after I finished them, and wanted to read more of Judy Blume’s writing!

I met Sally J. Freedman and Shelia Tubman at age ten.  They felt like a part of me.  Like Sally, I was forever making up stories in my head about becoming a roller skating champion, a gymnast, and a swimmer, among other things.  And like Sheila, I was afraid of thunderstorms.  I still am today just like Judy Blume herself.

My mother talked to me when I was eleven about what my body would be going through as I started my period and went through puberty.  I was nervous about it, but Margaret Simon showed up just when I needed her.  She was feeling nervous too, but we got through it together with the turn of each page.

Other characters came and went as I grew up: Stephanie Hirsch, Rachel Robinson, Jill Brenner, and more.  In college, I picked up Summer Sisters and I met Caitlin Somers and Victoria “Vix” Leonard.  I enjoyed going on their summer adventures on Martha’s Vineyard and watching them grow up and go their separate ways, but they still remained true to each other.

Finally, as an adult, I got to meet a new set of characters in Judy’s newest book In the Unlikely Event.  My favorites are Miri Ammermann, her mother Rusty and Uncle Henry (I related to him because my dad is also a newspaper reporter for sporting events), and Christina Demetrious.

Thank you, Judy Blume, for creating so many colorful characters that have stayed with me throughout my life.  You will never know how much you have influenced my own writing career.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to meet you last year.  You squeezed my hand, and I felt like you were passing on good luck vibes to me.  I hope that you have a wonderful birthday and that all of your wishes come true!

  

One of my favorite Summer Sisters quotations!

  

Me with two of my favorite Judy Blume books!
 

Inspiring future generations one book at a time!

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Meeting Literary Royalty: Judy Blume and Meg Wolitzer

Hi!  Sorry I haven’t written in a while.  I was busy with a new semester of grad school, and now it is over for the summer.  I’m thankful I don’t take summer classes because I can focus on my writing while working part-time at the summer camp, which is part of the daycare center/after-school program I work for.  On the writing front, I submitted a short story for We Need Diverse Books, and I’m working on a few more to submit to some magazines.  I’m really enjoying what I am working on, and I am excited to be able to share it with everyone soon!

Anyway I wanted to blog about a fun event I went to on June 4th.  The Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA sponsored an event at Lenape Middle School where Meg Wolitzer interviewed Judy Blume about her writing, life, and new book In the Unlikely Event.  My mom took me there, and we sat in the back, which was a good thing, but I’ll explain about that in a minute.  I enjoyed the whole interview, and Judy gave a lot of great advice to help my own writing career.  I related to her so much.

After the interview was the book signing, which started with the back rows.  I was so happy we sat in the back!  The line to see Judy was so long though.  I’m sure she felt overwhelmed at all those people.  I felt overwhelmed just standing in that line!  I had brought a bag full of her books with me in the hope that she would sign them, but she only signed copies of her new book.  I was just so honored that I was getting a book signed by literary royalty!  While we waited, we talked to some people in line who noticed my Superfudge t-shirt.

Finally, I was almost up next.  But first I talked to George Cooper, Judy’s husband.  He was really nice, and he let me take a picture with him!  (Thanks, Judy!)  Then it was my turn to meet Judy.  I handed her my book and while she signed it, I thanked her for inspiring my own writing career and said I was honored to meet her.  She thanked me for my kind words.  I couldn’t get a real picture with her, but my mom took a picture of me standing there talking to her.  And I reached out and touched her hand.  She squeezed it, and I felt like she was passing on good luck vibes to me for my own writing.  I was on cloud nine after that!

Then it was time to meet Meg Wolitzer, who I had never heard of before, except on Twitter here and there.  I was able to take a picture with her, and she signed my book and drew a cartoon for me!  I mentioned that I knew Laurie Halse Anderson and asked if she knew her.  She said no, but she wanted to meet her someday!  She wished me good luck with my writing career as well!  I thanked her.  Then we left and got Chick-fil-A on the way home.

So thank you, Judy and Meg, for a wonderful evening that night!  I’m reading ITUE now, and I can’t put it down!  Next up is Meg’s book!  I am still on cloud nine now after all this time, and I still can’t believe I met literary royalty.  I do hope Judy does tour again, but if she doesn’t, then I’m glad I got to meet her now.  Thanks for everything!

Pictures from the event:   Interview

Judy’s husband George and me! 🙂

  Meeting Judy Blume !!!!!! 🙂 Meg Wolitzer and me 🙂