I wrote this on Instagram earlier today, and I'm putting it here, too:
It's time for a re-read.
And it's time for a quick anecdote about Judy Blume.
The night I finished my first novel (one that will never see the light of day and rightfully so), I emailed Ms. Blume in a 3am moment of teary-eyed excitement at reaching the huge personal milestone of writing The End. I told her she had inspired me to write about the painful parts of youth as honestly as I could. Within hours she wrote me back. She congratulated me with a verbal pat on the back and then declared, "Now the real work begins!"
She was, of course, quite right.
Judy Blume is not only a woman who opened the door for stories about the internal lives of young girls and boys, she's also the kind of person who writes back to an excited, 20-something writer with words of encouragement. What a good egg. Thanks, Judy Blume.