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Writer's Block: Honey Bear

Happy birthday, A. A. Milne! Not coincidentally, it's also Winnie the Pooh Day. Which resident of Pooh Corner do you identify with the most?

None of them. Not a one. It wasn't a book that had any characters I identified with. I did read it as a kid, and I wasn't like any of them. It was a disappointment to me that none of the characters were anything like me. I liked some of them, Owl in particular. But none of them were anything like me at all and none of them went through anything like what I did.

Eeyore's depression wasn't like mine, because he would be depressed when everything was going great and I wasn't. I could understand that. He didn't even get picked on. It was too unreal.

It was a book that made me feel old and cold and unhuman. It left me feeling as if I'd already lost something I never had, as a fraud or some kind of cuckoo that was forced into deception to survive. I wasn't a child, not really.

I think if there had been anything by Tim Burton around it would have been a lot more fascinating and moved me deep. Oz had its weirdos, the Oz books did not have that effect on me and that was as much an animistic child's view where all toys live and have personalities. I could not imagine wanting a bear or finding comfort in it.

A whole lot of children's books left me hollow and angry that way.

To this day, some books and their backstories draw me in as if I were in the story and it's easy to see what I'd be doing if I were there. Others, I know that I wouldn't even have survived the place. Sometimes the latter can be good enjoyable books but they don't have anyone in it that I identify with.
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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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