Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Am Not Mary Poppins

Though, I do own quite a few umbrellas. But for some reason, I never seem to have one on me when the rain hits. And I’m terribly afraid of heights, so you won’t find me dancing on freakishly pitched rooftops with my neighborhood chimney sweeps anytime soon. And if you've ever heard me sing… well, enough is enough. We are just not going to go there.

I bring up this obvious point because the contents of this blog are not suited, or written, for young children. For those adults who don’t like distasteful bluntness or inappropriately placed humor, this blog is probably not for you either. I have a feeling Mary Poppins would not have approved of this blog one bit. Bummer, since I am a huge Poppins and Julie Andrews fan.

As most of you know, I write picture books for young children. Because of my profession as a children’s book author, people assume I am super sweet and appropriate ALL THE TIME. And I am, with kids*. But when I sit at my blog and unload the not-so sweet elements of my life, I am going to write truthfully. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. It makes me feel better. When I’m done unloading, I go back to my family and children’s book manuscripts and play nice. Sometimes I even pretend to be Mary Poppins - or at least a shabbily dressed version of her that completely lacks the ability to get kids to clean up after themselves.

So, I’ve decided to continue not censoring when I blog. When I censor, I get stuck. And it never makes me feel better. I do promise to sugarcoat things a bit with my awesomely inappropriate humor. To quote Miss Poppins herself, “just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Enjoy, and a special thanks to those of you who appreciate both versions of me.

* At least I try to be child-appropriate. Thank goodness for editors. I remember once I submitted a manuscript about a kid being followed by pigs and I wrote something like, "I don't know why the pigs keep following me, maybe it's the bacon I eat for breakfast." I received an e-mail back from my editor explaining some of the reasons the manuscript wasn't working for her. Here is her official response to that particular line: "Do you have a theory for why they’re following him? (I don’t think it’s because of the bacon he eats for breakfast, as mentioned on page 2. In fact, several readers were quite put off by this. And I don’t think they’re even vegetarians! Perhaps this line is a bit too much for some readers?)

It's never a good sign when your horrified editor's response is even funnier than the manuscript.


  1. Who are you addressing? Have people been complaining about your blog?

    1. My very caring friends and family occasionally approach me with concerns, not in a mean way. They just have different personal information boundaries.