Take Your Passions Seriously
When I started writing Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, I was this suburban mom, and everyone, including my then-husband, thought, Oh, isn’t that cute? She thinks she's a writer. But I needed creative work. I didn’t see it as cutesy, and I got mad at anyone who did.
Stand Up for Reading
We went through a period of book banning in the ’80s, and it seemed that we came out of it. And now here we are all over again. Mine get banned frequently because they are about the inner lives of tweens, and I try to really reflect the ways kids think and feel, including about puberty and sexuality. What I tell people is, “Unless you stand up and say why these books are important to you, they’re going to be gone. So you’d better make your voice heard.”
Listen to Your Gut
I was having dinner with my husband, George, one night in 2018 when I noticed something wasn’t right. He looked yellow. It was the weekend, and he said he felt fine, that he’d go to the doctor on Monday. I said, “No, no, no. Now.” We called our doctor, who told us to get to the ER right away. George had pancreatic cancer. He got treatment immediately. He is one of the very, very lucky ones who has survived. He is beautiful, healthy, handsome, fabulous.
Tap Your Troubles Away
There is a lot of luck involved in how we age. With me, the hips, the knees — they haven’t gone yet. Why? I don’t know. But I think it’s because I keep moving. I work in my bookstore three days a week, and I’m up and down the ladders. I bike to the store, too. On the other days, George and I walk 2 miles. But really, for me it’s all about dance. When I was 45, I took up tap dancing, and I became obsessed. I didn’t want to write — I didn’t want to do anything but go to tap class every day. You’re slapping those feet around, and it’s just wonderful.
Color Your World
Here’s my trick for looking my best on Zoom: I have a pink light. Under pink light, everyone looks wonderful.