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Florence Parry Heide, author portrait

Florence Parry Heide

From time to time over the years, questions have frequently been asked of me–questions for which I have no ready answers: What is your hobby? What are you going to be when you grow up?

What indeed was my hobby?

I couldn't count reading–everybody reads. And since I was very disinterested in and pitifully inept at all the things that constituted homemaking (cooking, baking, sewing, all those things) I couldn't count that.

Well, what about my having those five wonderful children? But they weren't a hobby. They were just a never-ending source of wonder and joy. Hobbies would have to wait until everything settled down a little. In the meantime, wasn't life absolutely wonderful?

Well, then! The children were off to school, and I found I had some free hours. Now I could take time to find a hobby–but what could it be?

What about this? I decided to write marvelous lyrics for a friend's marvelous music, songs that I hoped one day would be played, heard, and celebrated by countless thousands. We wrote and wrote, we tried and tried. Frank Sinatra wouldn't even look at them. Finally we had to put the songs on hold. (But wait, you'll be singing them one of these days, you'll see!)

So now what for a hobby?

What about this? Children's books! I started to write children's books, and for a long time, my new hobby was collecting rejections.

Until one shining day, a manuscript that had been rejected sixteen (!) times was indeed accepted and, since that first book, many books of mine have been published. The most recent one is The One and Only Marigold. Do read it–read them all! That could be your new hobby, and it would make me feel popular.

Back to those questions: My present hobby? . . . Admiring life.

As for that other question: what do I want to be when I grow up? . . . So many choices! Can I get back to you on that?