Thursday, February 19, 2009
Celebrating Process & Product
Posted by Tanya Lee Stone
I'm just going to put it right out there. I’m excited. Next Tuesday, Feb. 24, my new book Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (Candlewick) comes out. This story has been a total labor of love for me, going back about five years. In Almost Astronauts, I tell the little-known story of 13 incredible women who were the first to push against the "no girls allowed" boundary of the space program. There are feisty females, feats of bravery, and American heroes behaving badly. I want to shout about it from the rooftops. Literally. If I wasn't afraid of slipping down the icy shingles, I just might.
Now some may hear that and think it's simply author BSP. But it isn't. What it is is a rush of adrenalin, a sigh of relief, and a burst of joy all rolled into one. Launch day is the one day I allow myself to revel in product over process after putting process over product most every other day.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Because as exciting as it is to hold that finished product in my hands, ultimately it's the thrill of discovery that keeps me at my desk (or at the library, in the field, etc...). And I am not alone. I've been talking to kids about their favorite books and guess what? Most of them pick a NONFICTION book as their favorite. When I ask them why, they say they love caterpillars or trucks or Amelia Earhart or ancient Egypt and they want to know EVERYTHING about them. I know exactly how they feel. Just this morning, I looked around a room at small hands clutching favorite books and saw many names of author friends adorning those covers. How lucky are we who write nonfiction that it's actually our job to choose something we want to learn everything about and then be able to go spend countless hours doing just that? And if we're really lucky, we get to share what we learn in a way that can cause a child to clutch that book and revel in his/her own excitement.
So, like I said, I’m excited. Excited about nonfiction; about process; and yes, today, about product, too.