April 25, 2007

3Q with Lauren Barnholdt (and Then Maisy Jane Explains The Nature of God. You're Welcome)

FTK reg Nienke sent me this ---


Man! I have been “cat busy” all week, doing absolutely NOTHING really, feeling about as productive as if I had scheduled an hour for waving a pink sock flag off my toes. Every second it seems like I am doing something and yet…nothing gets done.

While I try to ACTUALLY get a few things off my TO DO LIST --- which has grown so green and mossy and unwieldy and vast I suspect it is gearing up to become sentient---- I will let Lauren Barnholdt
talk to you about THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY! which us launching MIX! Simon and Schuster’s new imprint for tweens. Tweens, for those not in the know, is what they call “pre-teens” these days. Devon, the heroine, is thirteen…

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

While Devon Delaney was living with her grandmother for the summer, she told her "summer friend," Lexi, that she was really popular back home and dating Jared Bentley, only the most popular guy at school. Harmless lies, right? Wrong. Not when Lexi is standing at the front of Devon's class, having just moved to Devon's town. Uh-oh. Devon knows there's only one way to handle this -- she'll just have to become popular! But it seems the more Devon tries to keep up her "image," the more things go wrong. It all has Devon wondering -- who is the real Devon Delaney?

JJ: What writers influenced your work and how and why?

LB: Honestly, I feel like every writer influences my work. There’s nothing that inspires me more than going into a bookstore and just seeing all the books, and thinking about how someone sat down to write that book. It motivates me to get back to the computer.

JJ: I know you blog, too. Why do you blog, and does it feed you or take energy from you?

LB: I think it feeds me, definitely. I love blogging. I like the chance it gives me to interact with other writers and readers, since sometimes it gets lonely being a writer. Plus, when embarrassing and humiliating things happen to me (kind of a lot), I’m always like, at least I can blog about this!

JJ: Have you ever lied about something like you character does in THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY?

LB: Okay, fine. Time to come clean. When my friends and I were in junior high, we were dating this group of guys from another school. So we made it seem like we were super popular at our school, and that all the boys wanted us. Which wasn’t even close to being true. One night some of the guys we lied to played basketball against some of the boys from our school who supposedly wanted us, and I just kept thinking, God, I hope none of them talk. And that was the inspiration for THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY. Only, unlike in my situation, poor Devon’s lies catch up with her.

Thanks, Lauren!

Lastly, I must stop making pink sock puppets and recount a conversation Himself had with Maisy yesterday. Miss Mais-O-May thinks her life is a musical... At any moment, if something of note occurs, Maisy will burst into narrative song while arabesque-ing and pirouetting about. It’s VERY gypsy.

Like just today she crept into my office and drooped by my chair and sang this dirge-like hymn:

OH IT IS VERY SAD AND THE SUN IS NOT OUT TODAY FOR ME!” <--- actual transcribed lyrics.

Sometimes she sings about pretends she is having, like the other day she sang,


So anyway. Scott was driving her about and Maisy was singing to herself about the nature of God:

Scott: Maisy? How do you know God is a boy?
Maisy: *in the tone of a person explaining something very simple to a creature who is clearly not too bright* Because DAD! At the end of our prayers, we say aMEN. We don’t say aWOMEN!

HA! Scott had no way to rebut this bit of pre-K wisdom, so it is official. God is a boy. With a good imagination.

Posted by joshilyn at April 25, 2007 2:13 PM

Makes sense to me. I figure children probably know these things better than we do. Please tell Maisy thank you for explaining it.

Posted by: Deborah P at April 25, 2007 4:03 PM

The wisdom of Miss Maisey reigns supreme. I shoulda known it.

Posted by: Cele at April 25, 2007 4:14 PM

Have to de-lurk for this one.

Another clue that God is a boy - from my son when he was Maisy age: His name is Howard. 'Howard be thy name.' Son asked how did God get the name Howard? It was a good question. No? Kids get all the clues. Maisy confirms it.

Posted by: Ziv at April 25, 2007 8:33 PM

Oh my. It's a good thing you blog, so you can keep all of these beautiful little bursts of wisdom recorded for all time. My one great regret is that I did not always and quickly write down all of those adorably wise little tidbits offered up from the mouths of my babes. I have journals now, for each of them, in which I dutifully record such splendid things, but when I think of all that are lost for all time, it makes me so sad.
aMEN, indeed!

Posted by: dee at April 25, 2007 8:34 PM

It is a misty forest, Miss Maisy.


Posted by: Edgy Mama at April 25, 2007 9:35 PM

That Maisy is a smart one...aMEN. I just love the simple understanding children have of God. ("Howard be thy name," how very adorable)

My nephew used to "sing" the grocery store when my sister took him shopping, "CEREE-AAAALLLL.... CHEEEESE..."

Posted by: Jennifer G. at April 26, 2007 9:33 AM

What I love is that she's obviously given it a lot of thought. Go, Maisy!

Posted by: Aimee at April 26, 2007 10:54 AM

My seven year old still breaks into song when the mood strikes him (usually that mood is to annoy his nine year old brother) When my boys were little my in laws would say grace before lunch and they would join in. Went something like "mumblemumblemumble. OLD MEN!"

Posted by: Laura L at April 26, 2007 11:03 AM

Well, who ELSE would have thought up the platypus? I ask you.

Posted by: Badger at April 26, 2007 11:20 AM

I pink puffy heart Maisy Jane. Just wait till she finds out about childbirth and menstruation, she will KNOW God is a boy...

Posted by: Mallory at April 26, 2007 2:11 PM

Why couldn't Maisy have a popsicle?

"Unless you become as a little child, you can't enter the kingdom of Heaven" (Rhonda's paraphrase) Such simple faith. Badger mentioned the platypus. I think the giraffe is a good sign of imagination. What about the Continental Divide? What about a hummingbird? God's Wonders never cease!

Posted by: Rhonda at April 26, 2007 2:17 PM

I was going to ask the exact same thing Rhonda! Why couldn't Maidy have a popsicle?

Posted by: Patti D at April 26, 2007 5:17 PM

After lunch I let her pick between Easter candy (yes we still have some since I am still off sugar, otherwise I would have pilfered it all by now...) and a popsicle. She picked candy, ate it up, and then came back high on sugar and said she realized she had chosen incorrectly, and what she REALLY wanted was the popsicle, so could she have that now please?

Um, no.

Posted by: Joshilyn at April 26, 2007 5:28 PM

And now no sun for the poor child. You should be ashamed ;-)) My kids used to say 'Howard' too. And I laughed EVERY time. And thanks... now I will again this Sunday!!

Posted by: pam at April 27, 2007 9:03 AM

Well, ok, if she was given a choice and made the wrong one, then Mom must stick by her decision. Always two sides to every story.

Posted by: Rhonda at April 27, 2007 9:06 AM

Your kids are WAY too smart. And I love the cartoon. I even, in honor of Maisy, made up a tune by which to sing it.

Posted by: Roxanne at April 27, 2007 5:43 PM

oh, did I laugh out loud with a big fat lady haha when I read this entry. Purely wonderful. Thank you.

Posted by: parrotzmom at April 27, 2007 6:28 PM