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And Then It’s Spring: Author Julie Fogliano’s 2012 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

I got my first taste of writing as a sophomore in high school. The assignment was to write a short story. I had never written anything before. But I just started to write…and write. The words came flying out, and the next thing I knew…there it was. A whole story. I didn’t understand where it came from. I was shocked that this character had lived inside me all the while and I never knew she was there. I was excited and nervous and absolutely hooked.

I spent the next twenty years trying to get there again. In 2008 I was sitting in my living room with my friend George O’Connor. He and I often talked about writing and how the more I tried, the less I wrote. His birthday was the following week, and as a gift he asked me to write him a thought every day for a year. Just one thought.

And Then It’s Spring was thought #156. I sat down at my computer that night with no ideas. I was tired and grouchy and desperate to go to bed. But I had to write my thought…While I sat there I decided to check out my friend Erin Stead’s blog. I knew she was finishing up the art for A Sick Day for Amos McGee. The first photo she had on her blog was of a table in the grass. It was where she worked on nice days. I loved the idea but remembered that our yard didn’t have any grass. It was brown. All around it was brown…

And there it was. The moment I had waited for since 1988.

From the January/February 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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