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An Occasional Post

Summer camp: Part two

Summer camp, part two
It is decades later. Many. Too many to think about. But I still dream about camp, and these are happy happy dreams, not at all like my frequent nightmares. I still have friends from camp—friends who remember more about my life than I do. And I still miss camp.

A few months ago I woke up and said to myself, “Leda, you are going to organize the camp reunion you’ve thought about for years.” So I did, and I am. (We all talk to ourselves, don’t we? Please say yes.)

Here is one of the glories of the internet, my friends. People can be found! You already know this. But I have turned into one of the world’s great detectives, if I do say so myself. It’s not just facebook and google.
It’s people search sites, phone calls, searching the NYTimes for wedding notices, obituaries (usually of parents of my camper friends, which is sad), and it’s frequently the Six Degrees of Separation game, which I have often turned into one degree through a brilliant(if I do say so myself) lightning strike of connection. For example, one of our counselors is a fairly well-known actress and her email and address are not available. I wrote to the one person I know in the film industry, and his best friend’s cousin is her best friend. Wow.

We all inhabit one planet. We are all connected.

So right about now you are wondering what this has to do with children’s books, right? Here’s the thing. We hear these words: write what you know. The next step is this: write what haunts you. But then we arrive here: write what you don’t know about what haunts you. That’s the process of deep discovery, of going down to places within yourself that you don’t fully understand.

And that’s what prompts me to bring all these people of my dreams together again.

If the event itself is half as much fun as the discovery process, I will be totally blissed out—and I expect it to be much more than that. Stay tuned--but the reunion isn’t until the end of September. Meanwhile, I will be writing.
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