The capitalizd "ADULT" is theirs: The people who smirk when I say I write "children's books" and think I'm the worst sort of underachiever when I say I'm good for about 750 words--no more, and often, no less (not good, as picture book publishers seem to want younger and shorter). And, no, my ambition is not to write the next great literary novel, or the next Harry Potter-ish zillion-seller. I write mostly picture books (and recently, chapter books). Books for children--children between the ages of 0 and 9, yeah, those little guys. The ones that can't read well, or can't read at all... yet. Because inside--regardless of what this blousy, saggy, wrinkled body I inhabit may imply--I am a child aged somewhere between 0 and 9. I realized today, as I walked all alone down some unknown road in an unfamiliar city--feeling little, lost, lonely and sad--that (to paraphrase my own text) no matter how big I get or how old I get, I will probably always be a child.
I want what every child wants: love, acceptance, companionship, and reassurance that whatever I do or don't do, at the end of the day someone fearless and reliable will make sure I am cozily tucked in. That I have everything I need--including a glass of water and lovies. That, those mean, scary under-the-bed spookies have all been chased away. And that, at the end of it all, no matter how ugly, or mean, or hard it seems--everything is going to come out just fine.