I’ve said before that every time I read something new about today’s Tuesday 12 x 12 in 2012 author, Renee LaTulippe, I end up liking her even more. This post is no exception. Not only is she hilarious (which I knew), but she also knows about the Cherry Ames books!! This woman is a soul sister for sure. If you haven’t visited her blog, you MUST after you read this post – it’s a gem. Please welcome Renee!
Slippery When Wet
I’m pretty sure that when my older sister Debby was born, she slapped herself on the butt, checked my mother’s pulse, put her hands on her hips, and said, “Now, let’s clean up this mess, shall we? I’ve got students coming in for clinical.”
Yes, she is one of those people who always knew what she wanted to do when she grew up. I once caught a glimpse of her dissecting a cat in biology lab, only to find her at home later, nonchalantly reading Cherry Ames: Army Nurse as if nothing untoward had occurred. She never veered from that path, and today is an associate professor of nursing, passing along her immense knowledge to other Florence (and Frank) Nightingales.
I just don’t get it. All my life, I’ve been awed by and envious of people like my sister with such a specific sense of purpose, a deep knowing of themselves and the direction their lives should take. I can only shake my head in wonder and think, How? How do they know?
The script of my life, in comparison, is scribbled over with cries of Oops!
Scene 1: Undergrad English major, concentration in writing poetry. Despite years of writing silly verses for family members and for fun, I didn’t realize I was probably a humorist best suited to light verse. Instead, I dressed in black, carried tomes of Sylvia Plath around, and wrote bleak free verse. Did I know that humorists and/or children’s writing existed? Nope. Oops!
Scene 2: I embraced my other love, the theater, and ran off to NYC to be an actress. I didn’t write another thing for twenty years, and I didn’t miss it at all. But did I know that my real strength and love was in directing? Not right away, though I did discover that before I graduated. Did I take full advantage of that new knowledge? Nope. Oops!
Scene 3: Grad school for English Education 7-12. Ah, I was good at this, and I loved it! But…given my love of grammar, travel, and foreign languages, and my intense desire to live overseas, should I have perhaps studied TOEFL instead? Yup. Did I do that? Nope. Oops!
Seriously, I spent years feeling like my luggage was on the boat, but I was still on the dock watching it chug away. Come back, boat!
Scene 4: 2007-2012 (it’s a Shakespearean play): Once I got back into writing, mostly thanks to my editing gig with All About Learning Press (but ironically kick-started by my overachieving sister who needed some chapters in a nursing text edited), I started thinking maybe words has always been where it’s at for me. And now I was in a niche – children’s writing – that seemed to make sense with my particular skills and interests. Has the boat docked?
To test these new waters, I did the 2011 PiBoIdMo, signed up for 12×12 in 2012, and started my blog No Water River, ostensibly a place to explore children’s poetry and picture books, and my place among them. If any of you have been by, however, you might notice it’s kind of heavy on the poetry. It seems I’ve come full circle, except now I tote Seuss instead of Plath.
And what I’ve learned is this: I still don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know if picture books are in my future, because I don’t know if they’re in me. And I don’t know if I even want them to be in me. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and getting published traditionally feels too passive. So I don’t know.
But the difference now with my not knowing is that I don’t know confidently! Why? Because when the boat passed by this last time, I grabbed my luggage off it. I don’t know which way is up, but at least I have my favorite sweater and a change of undies to get me through to…wherever.
I think my 12×12 challenge will be more like a 3×12 challenge, but that’s okay with me because the challenge has made me look and examine and wonder and experiment. And because along with my luggage, I’ve picked up a fabulous group of fellow journeywomen/men, a cargo load of ideas, and an inkling that I might be in the right place this time.
Renee LaTulippe is a former English/theater/public speaking teacher with a background in theater acting and directing, Renée is now the editor at All About Learning Press, for whom she also co-authors pre-reading books and early readers, including Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes old and new. She blogs on language and grammar at AALP (often under the guise of her alter ego, the Chipmunk of Doom), and creates poetry videos for her own blog, No Water River. Renée holds a BFA in acting/directing from Marymount Manhattan College and an MA in English Education from New York University. Despite her degrees, she can only whistle on the inhale. She lives in Piombino, Italy with her husband and twin toddler boys.Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Children's Books, Goals, Guest Blogging, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Poetry, Publishing, Rhyming, Writing · Tags: 12 x 12 in 2012, Goals, Guest Blogging, Julie Hedlund, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Poetry, Renee LaTulippe, Rhyming, Tuesday 12 x 12, Writer, Writing