I was a dancer, we were always encouraged to fall in rehearsal, so that
you could know what the tipping point of any given movement was. That
way, when you did it on the stage, you could be sure you were taking it
to the edge without falling on your face. It sounds like a cliché, but
really it's just physics— if you don't touch the fulcrum, you'll never
gain a felt sense of it, and your movement will be impoverished for it.”
Last weekend I had the honor of having my portfolio chosen as the 2015 Art Portfolio Show Grand Prize Winner at theSCBWI WWA
spring conference. There was so much beautiful work on display, and I'm
thrilled and grateful to be part of this incredibly talented and
I've been delving into a world of blackness and stars and flight as I work on a new story. And so it feels like a good time to share this excerpt from Kate DiCamillo's book, The Magician's Elephant. The beauty of the language and storytelling took my breath away the first time I read it.
*** "As the snow fell, Sister Marie, who sat by the door at the Orphanage of the Sisters of Perpetual Light, dreamed too. She dreamed that she was flying high over the world, her habit spread out on either side of her like dark wings. She
was terribly pleased, because she had always, secretly, deep within her
heart, believed that she could fly. And now here she was, doing what
she had long suspected she could do, and she could not deny that it was
gratifying in the extreme.
Marie looked down at the world below her and saw millions and millions
of stars and thought, I am not flying over the earth at all. Why, I am
flying higher than that. I am flying over the very tops of the stars. I
am looking down at the sky. And then she realized that no, no,
it was the earth that she was flying over, and that she was looking not
at the stars but at the creatures of the world, and that they were all,
they were each- beggars, dogs, orphans, kings, elephants, soldiers- emitting pulses of light.
The whole of creation glowed.
Sister Marie's heart grew large in her chest, and her heart, expanding
in such a way, allowed her to fly higher and then higher still- but no
matter how high she flew, she never lost sight of the glowing earth
below her. "Oh," said Sister Marie out loud in her sleep, in her chair
by the door, "how wonderful. Didn't I know it? I did. I did. I knew it