Monday, April 11, 2011

Tomorrow is the "Lucky" day!

Tomorrow is the release day for The Luck of the Buttons, my friend Anne Ylvisaker's (pictured above) wonderful book about plucky Tugs Esther Button who is twelve years old in the small town of Goodhue, Iowa in 1929.

The Button family has never had good luck. They don't expect good luck. Uncle Norton "sliced off his left foot with a scythe" so Uncle Elmer had to do the farm work by himself. Then "a card playing con man suckered Uncle Elmer out of his seed money and he had to plant with last year's leftover s...and a storm washed all those seeds away."

The uncles' run of bad luck is just what the Buttons expect--until Tugs wins a Brownie camera in the Independence Day raffle. That's not the last of her luck on Independence Day either...

Tugs is wonderful. Anne's fictional Goodhue is a place I love visiting. And the Buttons, for all their bad luck, have one habit I especially enjoy. They make a lot of pie. Of course "Pie in the Button family meant trouble." Anne writes, "There were apple pies for fall funerals and custard pies for the measles, mumps, and broken bones. "

I guess I don't want to wait for trouble to make pie. But, as a writer, not an eater, I can appreciate how their pie habit makes the Buttons more real for me. And, since I know that Anne is a wonderful pie-maker herself, I know that this great detail comes from her own life. What we love, what we notice often finds its way into our work. It might be a good idea to start out our writing each day by just noticing, noticing something to be grateful for.

Thanks Anne, for the great book, for reminding us of the pleasure of pie, for reminding us of the importance of remembering the pleasure of pie and the rewards of noticing.

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