Writing Children's LiteratureChildren's literature writing
I' ve quit writing children's literature
"I became" Keep cool" my mantras in December 2005, when the telephone was ringing for the third and I knew that a brief note would be leaving me expressing the caller's disillusion. Me, a writer, was all of a sudden heated about my novel Marisol, a 140-page tale of a little Marisol who lives in Pilsen's mainly Latin American area of Chicago.
A fictitious Luna dynasty plans to move from this area to the outskirts of Des Plaines, twenty-five leagues eastwards of Pilsen. She is not pleased about her immigration in the state - a sketch on page 20 shows her, hands on chins, frown. I was approached in 2003 by an American journalist who asked me if I would like to compose a novel for her book on young women.
With a sloth's heart beat I could hear, quiet, because I was an experienced author - how many stories had I ever hear of a project that would give me glory and wealth? As the publisher stated, the notebook would go with a puppet, or more precisely, the notebook would be one of the doll's accessoires, such as suits and suitable clothing that genuine 10-year-old women could use.
She would be the 2005 girls of the year. So I proposed Fresno, my home town, and the publisher said that Fresno was not an available place - the 2004 Puppet of the Year was Kailey, a Californian surfing pro. Publisher said the story should take place either in New York City or Chicago.
She was supposed to be a ballerina. Imagined Marisol in a striking gown in the colours of the Mexico banner. But in the end Marisol would make a lot of music. Writing the novel in a whole months, tinkering with the fiction and listening to the mother corporation (Mattel) work out the detail for Marisol to be fashionable - she needed a mobile telephone, for example.
I certainly realised that this puppet was a commercially viable design, but why was it necessary to make the glittering cylinder available as an afterthought? When I had completed writing Marisol, I didn't think much about the script or the cocoon. A Simple Plants", possibly the best I have ever wrote, an elongated endeavor deplorable in sound, a poetry about how even a short-lived coffee tree is suffering - like our Jesus on the cross.
At about the same and the same epoch as I was working on Marisol, I was writing this favourite of mine. This puppet was produced in November 2005 in an issue of 240.000 pieces. Dear God, I thought blasphemically, a novel of mine, however easy, with the release run of a great script! I hadn' t expected the girl to see it, of course; no, the script was thrown aside as the girl immediately started combing Marisol's fur.
First of almost a hundred phone conversations began, phone conversations from the Lord Major of Des Plaines, councillors, Chicago militants, an artist directeur, Time, BBC, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, NBC's "Today Show", ABC's "World News Tonight", a Spanish reporter, student, professor - all because I had composed a contentious play of dialog expressed by Marisol's mum.
In her maternal argumentation she argued that they would have to move out of Pilsen. Our mom says: "Dad and I think it's a good idea to move out of this neighbourhood. "In the same passage, the parent follows that it is hazardous and there is no place for her child (Marisol) to do it.
That was captured by Andrew Herman of The Chicago Sun-Times, who made this seemingly trivial matter known to the world. Pilsner was not good enough for the Marisol puppet - or so the reason. With a sigh ing one' s mind, the real comforting one' s son. They argue that it is too risky because their daughters have no place to gamble, except an inner city road that is involved in transport.
Eight years after the release of the volume, I will say that it was not a failure. Chicago is in the middle of chaos - the mom knows it, the dad knows it, the good folks who walk down the road know it. It is her home and her own child, and in her own home it is sensible for her to say what she is feeling.
From a statistical point of view, Chicago is perilous and Pilsen is encircled by painful events. These are the figures: Chicago has committed an average of over 450 killings per year between 2005 and 2012. This is a sweet, easy tale in the heart of Chicago, where killings have been taking place for many years. From 2005, when Marisol was Girl of the Year, until now in early autumn 2013, 3,500 Chicagoers have been killed.
After all, how could Chicago elect officers, especially city councillors in the south of the city, reason that their neighbourhoods are intact? Of the last seven Illinois commanders, four have either ministered - or are in prison. If I had, I could have really let the mom go and said to the daughter: "Sal si ruedes!
For her, it makes sence to migrate, just as it makes sence for others to migrate from Mexico to Chicago, Houston, New York City and my home town of Fresno. Plzen from 2005 is not the Plzen from 2013; is genetrification not in progress? Didn't I just hear that thirteen people were executed in a two week period in one of the parks and four people were executed in an accident in another part of Chicago a few nights ago?
Fifty pupils from an alternate high schools came to the shop and restaurants of the American Girl's Chicago on March 28, 2006 to demonstrate against Marisol, the novel and the puppet. Encouraging schoolteachers, possibly campaigners looking for awareness, the pupils sang "Stop the racial puppet! And Marisol doesn't get mixed up with whites! Some six-year-old girl wept and were taken away by their moms - with their daughter embracing her American Girl dummies Samantha, Kailey, Sara and my Marisol creations.
Somebody came to my defense: In my records I have a Sun Times writer who reports on April 1, 2006: "Why shouldn't a fictitious figure in a textbook be able to say what he wants? Quite honestly, the only one who looks good here is American Girls Doll's proprietor Mattel, who, in a scarce time of entrepreneurial spirit, didn't just give in to blackmailing claims (15 grants, plus job programmes, plus more - I'm amazed they didn't ask for a pony ), but stuck by his writer and his work.
Marisol, the girl of the year, was aging very quickly and had disappeared after the Christmas hype. I' ve got a dummy on a rack in the basement car park. She is a sweet puppet with a carry case over her shoulders. Marisol, the 16-inch dummy made of synthetic material, was ten years old in 2005.
I mean, she seemed lifelike, a gal like any other preadolescent gal. Had she been a reality, as in reality in every way, she would now be eighteen years old, growing up to five to seven years, a newcomer to the University of Chicago, her great psycology with a clandestine wish to compose music. Marisol is reaching for my book of poems "A Simple Plan".
" Released three years after Marisol, it did not receive any publicity, not a review. It was poorly selling (327 copies) and was out of stock. Throughout the eighty pages, Marisol keeps my volume until she comes to "Bean Plants". It goes to another one and then another sighing through a flexible lips, not through the soft lips of a puppet who couldn't talk for herself in 2005.
Had Marisol, just like him, said to the "outraged" to take care of their own affairs. When she wanted to move her car she could just wrap it up and see Pilsen getting smaller and smaller in the rear view of her rented car. Commenting on my textbook "A simple plan. This young lady brings home my novel, I take home the prodigal dad who raised her to it.