Monday, March 26, 2007

How I Know Linda

I want to address Meghan's post from last week on "Getting the Credit," but haven't really had a chance to think the issue through and am a bit exhausted from my trip to DC this weekend, so instead I'll continue my "How I Know" series.

Linda was the next Blue Rose Girl that I met. Well, I think I may have met her and Anna at the same party at the apartment I shared with Grace in Somerville, but my first memory of really talking to her was when she came into the office with her agent, Judy Sue, for lunch. Linda was signed up to illustrate a book with my boss: One Grain of Sand by Pete Seeger. I remember before our lunch either Megan or Judy Sue warning me that Linda was very shy, and was also feeling sick that day, so I was a little apprehensive about the lunch, especially since I was still very new to publishing and not yet comfortable with those types of business lunches. But lunch was fun—Linda’s boyfriend Karl came, as well as Judy Sue, Megan, me, and I believe our art director Sheila. I remember discovering that Karl was cousins with Saturday Night Live star Ana Gasteyer, a tidbit I found incredibly interesting.

I slowly got to know Linda better by working with her on One Grain of Sand (which is a gorgeous, breathtaking book, by the way), mainly communicating comments on her sketches and art from Pete Seeger, checking in with her on how the art was coming along, etc. And I got to know her socially through visits with Grace, too, especially after Grace and Robert started dating. But it wasn't until after I made the move to NY that I felt like I really started getting to know her.

One of my strongest memories of Linda was during an art show that the original Blue Rose Girls (Grace, Linda, and Anna) had at a cafe in CT near where Linda lived. I took the train up from NY and it was lovely hanging out with everyone, drinking coffee and tea, eating cafe snacks, and admiring all of their books and art on the walls. Afterwards, Linda walked me to the train station and waited for me on the platform for the train to come. I remember we talked about various different topics, including Bookcrossing, and then she showed me these wonderful painted scarab beetles. Linda would leave them places for people and children to discover and be delighted by. She gave me one to bring to NY and leave somewhere. She doesn't know this, but I kept it all this time--I couldn't let something so beautiful go. But I know its purpose is to be let free for someone else to discover, so I promise that I will! Truly. The one I have says "YOU ARE MY MUSE" on the back. Isn't it amazing?

I then got to know her even more through her blog, and I was, and am, constantly amazed at all of the magical, imaginative, creative, and adventurous things she does. I'm so glad that I've gotten to know her even better through our BRG get-togethers, as she's been such an amazing influence on my life. I hope to get to know this soulful woman even more.


Meghan McCarthy said...

wow. Another great story! Love the beetles.


Meghan McCarthy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda S. Wingerter said...

Wow! I never knew that story either! At least, not from that side of it. My scarab secret is out of the bag. I suspected you might have kept it, but I know one day you will release it to its own fate...

You ARE my muse, gentle Alvina.