"Life is full of happy accidents.
Sometimes I'm asked if I do research for my stories. The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first fifteen years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books.
Ideas also come from everyday life. And from the newspapers. One day, for example, I read a story about a girl who competed on her high school wrestling team. A year later bookstores carried a new book with my name on it: There's a Girl in My Hammerlock.
So there you are. I never became a cowboy or baseball player, and now I'm beginning to wonder if I ever really became a writer. I find that I hesitate to put that label on myself, to define myself by what I do for a living. After all, I also pick berries and touch ponies and skim flat stones over water and marvel at the stars and breathe deeply and grin from ear to ear and save the best part for last. I've always done these things. Which is to say, I never had to become anything. Or anyone. I always, already, was.
Call me a berry-picking, pony-touching star-marveler. "
To read more, visit: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/jerry-spinelli
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