Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Writers Weigh In: When the Monsters are Real

The sun came out briefly today in NYC.  I have never been so excited to see blue sky.  But quickly the clouds have rolled back in.

As I was holed up in my Brooklyn apartment during the storm, I could not help but think about all of the other creatives doing what they could to maintain some semblance of normalcy as we waited and waited.  Some, I am sure, were using their laptops, getting as much written and saved as possible before a power outage.  Others were probably using pens, pencils, paper and other archaic materials.  I am sure it is only a matter of time before we see all that was "created" during this time.

All in all, NYC has faired well and you can be sure we will come back better than ever soon. 

Today is Halloween.  The Greenwich Village Parade which is an annual fixture was canceled.  And honestly, I am still reeling from some of the real life horrors, that Halloween is far from my mind.

I was going to post about Halloween Picture Books and have others weigh in with their favorites.  But Tara Lazar and Peter Adam Salomon do a great job of that today at  (btw, quick reminder that PiBoIdMo starts tomorrow, so sign up!)

Instead, as my own mind tries to grasp the long road ahead of so many of us, I realize that books are a HUGE help on this journey.  Bookstores did a great business before the storm and some even rode it out.  My local indie bookstore was open to provide some much needed escapism in paper form.

The Red Cross asked residents of Brooklyn to chip in and help a local shelter which was in need of towels and...wait for it...BOOKS!  Immediately Greenlight Bookstore in the Fort Greene neighborhood Tweeted, "You guys provide the towels, we are on our way with the books!"  Doesn't that warm your heart?

And books don't just provide an escape, they also help us process.  Both in the writing and the reading.

So, this brings me to today's Weigh In. 

What are some Picture Books about "real life tragedies"?  Or books that give comfort when the world is a scary place?

I know some were written around Hurricane Katrina and others about WWII. Weigh in and let me know.  Afterall, its time to brainstorm for PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) and I know this tragedy is front and center in my mind.


  1. Greenlight's response actually brought tears to my eyes.

    This is such an excellent and much-needed post, Marcie. Speaking as one who has watched the storm from afar, and felt helpless and anxious through it all, it's a struggle for us all to get back to normal.

    Pat Tilton reviewed (months ago) what sounds like an excellent picture book -- "Blackout" by John Rocco.

    1. BLACKOUT is a wonderful picture book. Good one! I actually own a signed copy. :)

  2. Marsha Diane Arnold wrote a wonderful character driven hurricane story "The bravest of us all." I agree with Beth. Thanks Marcie - good resource. Can you make a permanent resource link for this post? Super helpful as with all the weather changes, I doubt that this will be the last disaster. Hope everyone is voting.

  3. My mind is blank right now, Marcie, but I'm so thankful you have weathered the storm! Certainly any Children's Bible story lends hope in troubled times, but I can't think of one that's been published, other than anthologies. Be safe!

  4. Greenlight Bookstore's gesture really does warm my heart! Thank you for this post. I'm thinking of you and all of NYC, Marcie.

  5. My thoughts are with you and all my friends and relatives back home. I'd like to add a book that has given me much comfort in life, as much as the title may seem a like a horrible twist today: Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. If you haven't already read it, do!

  6. Glad you have weathered the storm OK, Marcie and that the marathon is still on this weekend!

    Great post and this is one of my favorites: AFTER THE STORM:

  7. Wonderful post, Marcie, and many thanks for all of the updates from NYC that you are posting to Facebook. I, for one, tried to concentrate on writing a story for Susanna's Halloweensies contest yesterday as I waited to hear from our daughter staying with friends on the lower east side (near the power station that blew, I later found out). Thankfully, all ok, but still with no power there or in West NY, NJ, where she normally lives. Had to include an ark in the story...

    Blanking on PBs about tragedies for the moment. Think this brain is a bit worn out. Hang in there everyone!

  8. Great post Marcie, especially love the story about the generous bookshop. I agree with Joanna, i loved the book: Percy The Park Keeper - After The Storm!

  9. Hi Marcie- I'm glad you are OK. This storm was a big one.

    It's not exactly a disaster story, but I recently read, and loved, a book called Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. It is historical fiction about a girl living in the Netherlands after WWII, and a girl in the United States who corresponds with her and sends her boxes of supplies -- flour, soap, warm clothes -- that were so scarce for years in Europe after the war. It is such a touching story about pulling together in the wake of disaster. I highly recommend it.

    I hope NYC can recover soon and get the subways running again!

  10. Oh, how awesome is Greenlight?! And you are so right about books - both an escape and a way to help process. So glad you stayed safe and came through OK! I can't think of titles off the top of my head right now, but I'm sure there are a bunch on the Perfect Picture Book list.

  11. Great to hear you're ok and safe, Marcie. I was praying for you. How neat to hear that BOOKS are bringing joy and inspiration to others. Of course, that pb "The Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" comes to my mind. And I agree with Jarm, children's Bible stories offer hope and show examples of how people overcame difficulties. eg. the popular Daniel and the Lion's Den

  12. So pleased to hear you are weathering the Hurricane Marcie, and are safe. I think we all pray for our dear friends. I loved what Greenlight is doing and it brought tears to my eyes, just shows how generous people are at times like these. Liked Susanna's idea of checking the PPBF list for some good books to pick from to give hope and comfort.