Saturday, November 18, 2006

Making Peace With Massachusetts

As I face the onset of my seventh winter in Massachusetts, I'm sensing that my friends are a wee bit tired of my annual whining spell: "... blah, blah, blah early nightfall, icy streets, can't hike, ergonomically not designed for skiing, blah, blah, blah..."

That's why I've decided to morph myself into a Massachusetts woman for the holidays.

Yes. You heard it here first, fire escape friends. No more indulging in futile longing for the white sands of Zuma beach or day hikes in the Mount Diablo foothills. No more late-night cyber JetBlue visits to ferret out deals on the Boston-Oakland flight. And enough with gazing lustfully at my tropical island screensaver when I should be writing.

The first step in this transformation was predictable. Like every good nerd, I took a quiz and scored a 100% on "How Massachusetts Are You?" That's an A+, people.

Step two .... presenting the top ten reasons I'm thankful to be a Massachusettsian -- er, wait, is it Massachusettser, or Massachusian ...? Aw, fuggedabouded. Here's the kid lit perspective on why it's been GREAT to reside in the Bay State (listed in no particular order):
  1. Membership in the Boston Author's Club gives me something in common with two of my favorite children's book writers -- Margaret Sidney and Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
  2. The New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators hosts topnotch regional events for beginners and established writers alike.
  3. The Foundation of Children's Books celebrates local writers, connects us to educators, and hosts wonderful events, so when you read about those fly NY parties that Fuse No. 8 describes, aim a nugget of your envy a bit further north and east.
  4. Charlesbridge is two miles away from my writing nook.
  5. I saw OzandEnds walking down the street as I was driving home today.
  6. Newtonville Books, an indie that knows exactly how to love on authors, is only three blocks away.
  7. My writer's group, founded by Karen Day (Tall Tales, Wendy Lamb Books, 2007), meets every month at the Newton Free Library.
  8. The library is four blocks from home and in and of itself enough reason to remain here until death do us part (and I'm talking about me and the library here, not me and the husband.)
  9. The welcoming house of Monika Jain (editor of Kahani Magazine) is on my daily drive to and from my kids' school, making it convenient to stop by and enjoy a cup of great chai every now and then.
  10. The Newton Public Schools included my author presentation in their roster of Creative Arts and Sciences programs, and invites from local schools fill my calendar every fall and spring.
So thanks, Massachusetts. And now for step three in the transformation plan: browsing the LLBean winter catalog ...

6 comments:

Monika said...

So honored to be in your Top Ten! Who knew that meeting in the park four years ago would lead to this.

Jen Robinson said...

I enjoyed the Massachusetts quiz, and the Red Sox quiz linked from that one, having grown up in MA. (I scored only 91% on the MA quiz, but 100% on the Sox quiz). I live in Northen CA now, and I don't miss the winters, but I do miss the libraries and book culture from time to time. Thanks for a fun post!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I grew up in western MA and went to school in the Boston area, so I wasn't sure how I'd do. I got a 97% on the Massachusetts quiz!

But Jen, hate to tell you that I got a 76% on the Red Sox quiz even as a (sorry) Yankees fan.

Anonymous said...

Mitali, when you get really brave, you could make the midnight trip up to the real LLBean. They're open 24hours.

SilberBook-Blog said...

81%??? Where did I go wrong with the quiz? I grew up in Worcester - have skinny-dipped in the Quabbin, and had my share of frappes too thick to sip with a straw!

Anyway - I've wintered with the best of em, and certainly share in the down-filled woes of when the weather turns. Of course I fled New England for a colder climate - Montreal - so what's my problem?

Still, when I was writing Pond Scum - it was the New England scenery that was in my brain. Once a Massachusettian - always a Massachuttian.

Say hi to Newtonville Books for me! and BUTTON UP!

alan

Mitali Perkins said...

Come by Newtonville Books on Sunday, February 4th at 2 p.m. for my book launch of Rickshaw Girl -- tea and samosas courtesy of Charlesbridge and plenty of time to sample their great selection of literary savories, too.