Day 29: Meet the BBS — Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Wow, participating in the special celebration that is 28 Days Later has been such a wonderful honour for me. I am floored by how much I learn from the campaign every year, and it breaks my heart too — I should be hearing about these amazing authors and illustrators more often!

DAILY INSPIRATION: My debut novel, 8th GRADE SUPERZERO (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2010), has brought so many opportunities my way. I’ve loved meeting (in person and in the digital world) readers of all ages who have their own precious stories to tell, who are exquisite reminders of one of my biggest WHYs for this work: writing, telling stories, brings new opportunities to listen, to step outside of myself and my affinities into unknown people and worlds. I’m so grateful for your stories that make mine richer.

One of the challenges I think we face in today’s culture is a directing away from nuance, from complexity, from in-depth exploration and discomfort. I’m glad that we still hold on the stories. Stories give us room to ask the questions that have more than one answer, or don’t have any answers at all. While preparing for a conference talk, I found this, from the poet Wendell Berry: “In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter, war spreading, families dying, the world in danger, I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.” That’s what I want to do with my writing: sow clover. I write to honour the particular, and embrace the universal. To listen between the lines to your story, and mine. I wrote an essay about listening recently (my writing is all about what I listen to), and came to see that I write because I “cherish the magic and mystery of life, and I want to imagine, and remember, and share.” And even when I’m beyond frustrated, completely flummoxed, or bored to tears with my efforts — I love this work deeply. All my life, I’ve been grateful for the stories.

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4 Responses to Day 29: Meet the BBS — Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

  1. Charlotte says:

    Thank you all for the wonderful 29 days!

    (and thank you in particular, Olugbemisola, for that lovely Wendell Berry quote!)

  2. tadmack says:

    (THERE’S that baby picture! Go, baby, go! In the middle of all the grown-ups, dancing her heart out with her tall socks on. LOVE it.)

    I immediately looked up that Wendell Berry poem again, and sighed. I think that the words Gbemi used are perfect – to honor the particular and to embrace the universal. If we can all do that, imagine what we will have accomplished. I believe Ms. Rhuday-Perkovich is on her way, too.

    A lovely and fitting conclusion to an excellent twenty-eight days. Thank you.

  3. Edi says:

    What a beautiful way to end such a wonderful month!

  4. Amanda Clarke says:

    Yes, you my friend, are a great sower of clover. Thank you for your writing and for all the deep thinking you do and share.

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