Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Robert's Snow: In Memory and Gratitude

Today, on the first anniversary of the death of Grace Lin's husband Robert Mercer, I wanted to write up a post about a very special gift I received in the mail from illustrator Annie Patterson last December. Annie was one of approximately two hundred children’s picture book illustrators who created beautiful snowflakes for the 2007 Robert’s Snow auctions that raised money for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. I fell in love with Annie’s snowflake of a young girl holding a white rabbit painted on the background of a snowy winter scene.

Annie, who lives in Alaska, is the illustrator of Whale Snow, which was written by Debby Dahl Edwardson. Fortunately for me, I won Annie’s snowflake in the auction. After learning I had won her beautiful work of art, I left the following comment at this post on her blog Imagine and Create:


I am one happy lady. I won your snowflake yesterday! I knew I wanted it when I first saw it in the exhibit at the Child at Heart Gallery in October. I'm giving it to myself for Christmas.

Thank you so much for helping with Robert's Snow this year--and for making such a beautiful snowflake!!!

Soon after I left my comment, Annie emailed me and asked for my address. Then she sent me a gift: her original pencil sketch for the snowflake.

I was so touched by Annie Patterson's thoughtful gesture--as I was by the generosity of all the artists who contributed their talents to the Robert’s Snow campaign to raise money for cancer research--and as I was by all the kidlit bloggers who helped to spread word about the auctions, especially the fine ladies of 7-Imp…who went above and beyond the call of duty.

Jules & Eisha of 7-Imp

(Click here for a list of the artists and links to the illustrators’ Robert’s Snow features at different blogs.)

Today, I also want to send my heartfelt thanks to Annie Patterson and all of the artists who created snowflakes for the Robert’s Snow auctions in 2004, 2005, and 2007, to Jules and Eisha and all the of the bloggers who helped in our efforts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber, and to all of you out there who bid in the auctions.

And today, in memory of my dear friend Robert Mercer, I am re-posting a poem I wrote especially for him.

Things to Do If You Want to Be a Snowflake
by Elaine Magliaro

Fashion yourself:

a bit of lace,


spun in space

of silken ice,








Thank you, everyone.

Robert Mercer and Grace Lin


Anonymous said...

Elaine, this is a beautiful post and a breathtaking poem. Thank you for sharing it again! (As always, your original poems make me cross my fingers that you're getting some of your work out there in front of editors!)

How cool to have that sketch. So much beauty surrounding Robert and the children's lit world. So much.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Laura. It was an honor to be involved with the Robert's Snow campaign and the three auctions. That's how I came to know Grace Lin and Robert Mercer so well. Grace is a remarkable young woman--and Robert was such a fine, talented, smart, and funny man.

I own lots of the beautiful wooden snowflakes. They are small treasures. I love them.

I have one manuscript with an agent at the moment and I hope to put the finishing touches on another in the next month. I also have a few other poetry collections that I should start submitting sometime soon.

Linda said...

Elaine, I agree with Laura. The poem is breathtakingly beautiful.
What I love about your poems is that they come from the heart. You don't write to be published, you write to because it's who you are.
I don't know the story of Robert, but I will surely think of him this winter when I see the first snowflake. P.S. I love snowflakes too for so many reasons.

Annie Patterson said...

Elaine, Your poem for Robert is so beautiful! It feels and sounds just like a snowflake when I read it. Can I share it with readers on my blog?

Elaine Magliaro said...

Linda and Annie,

Thanks for your kinds words about my poem.

(Annie, I emailed you a reply to your request.)

eda said...