It’s hard to be sure any more who texts or tweets or blogs or Facebooks (that new verb) or what, but for anyone who’d like to read an interesting interview I did of Mo Wren herself, hop over to www.fromthemixedupfiles.com, a lovely blog especially for readers, writers and teachers of middle school fiction and poetry. You’ll also get the chance to win a copy of Mo’s new book, as well as a paper back edition of FOX STREET.
…you would think that, after nine months of pregnancy, I wouldn’t have been so surprised when I woke up that long-ago winter night and found myself in labor. And yet I remember turning on the light, looking at myself in the mirror, and saying aloud, “You’re going to have a baby? You’re going to have a baby!” It seems I’d carried that child for so long, and gotten so accustomed to having her be part of me, and me alone, I’d begun to think things would go on like that forevermore.
But my daughter had other ideas. And so, it seems, does my new book. MO WREN, LOST AND FOUND, makes its leap into the world tomorrow. I remember a year ago, when I first saw FOX STREET on a book store shelf. Part of me was thrilled and proud, but another part–possibly just as large a part–felt anxious and protective of the book, out there all on its own in the big world, without me. Like my children, it’s managed an independent life very well. FOX STREET no longer belongs to me, but to its readers. And as of tomorrow, so will MO WREN.
I grew up by the sea. Now I live by a lake–a Great Lake in fact. A very fine, impressive lake. But it is not the sea.
Every summer I make a little pilgrimage back to the salt and sand. This year we stayed in a small town in a ramshackle, spooky inn where, we suspected, we were the only guests. We were about a mile from the water but each morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, I felt its presence. The waves were big and wild–cresting, they were glassy, green caves. I got knocked down and pulled under a couple of times, something that hasn’t happened to me since I was small. “Never turn your back on the ocean”–wise advice from my mother (who also grew up by the sea). The sparkle, the gleam, the roar, the hiss! The funny shore birds with their backwards knees, and the dune grasses doing the hula.
It was a long, long drive home through Pennsylvania, where it’s all rolling, lush hills and soft, lacy light, so different. Today, when I go swimming in the city pool, I’ll miss the sea, but by tomorrow, or the day after, most of me will be back here again. It’s a very nice coincidence, as I’m thinking so much about water, that I got to do the following interview for a lovely blog that uses swimming as a metaphor for writing.