Tiger Eyes the Movie: Meeting Judy Blume, again, 30 years later

tiger eyes movie poster

Judy Blume is easily the first author I remember LOVING.  I was probably around seven when I read my first Judy Blume book. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and quickly headed to Barnes and Noble for more.  I had to read EVERYTHING she wrote.  Like most girls of my generation (that would be X) Judy Blume helped define our childhood and adolescence.

Deenie, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Blubber and of course, Forever.  These books taught you something about being a girl – what might happen, what may have happened, what you hope didn’t happen – all of it perfectly written in exactly the right voice.

When I was 10 I waited for two hours with one of my best friends at the original Barnes and Noble in Manhattan to meet Judy Blume and get the first copy of Tiger Eyes.  That autographed copy of Tiger Eyes is one of the very few books that has moved with me from home to home – surviving over 30 years and 5 moves.  Like many of Judy’s (she told me to call her that!) books Tiger Eyes is about a strong, young girl named Davey on the verge of womanhood.  In Tiger Eyes she is also displaced, confused, and recovering from the sudden, violent death of her father.  It’s a much more mature book – not quite Forever, but definitely more hardened and sad than Margaret.

The film is very loyal to book,  beautifully shot and the lead actress, Willa Holland, is extraordinary.  I highly recommend it not just for Gen X women who grew up with Judy Blume, but also for older tween and teen girls.  It’s amazing to see how much Twilight and The Hunger Games follow in the footsteps of the Judy Blume tradition of smart, capable – slightly wounded, girls like Davey in Tiger Eyes.  It’s not action packed or fully of vampires and love triangles, but it has at its core those paradoxical feelings of adolescent sadness/joy, fear/courage, ignorance/wisdom that universally resonate at that age – particularly with girls.

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a screening of the new film version of Tiger Eyes – and Judy Blume was there to take questions and sign books!

judy blume and lawrence blume

I was thrilled to dig out my copy of  Tiger Eyes from 1982.  Judy was shocked and touched to see her autograph from way back then  – she called over everyone to see it, and then signed the book anew here in 2013.

It was an awesome moment.  And I can tell you that there were many, many women in attendance that day who brought their original copies of Forever, Tiger Eyes and the other faves – tattered, battered and well-loved – for Judy to sign as well.

You can check out the main Tiger Eyes page to see if the film is coming to a theater near you, but it is also On Demand, and online on the usual outlets.

I Love Your Blog – But Not You

One of the unanticipated perks of being a mom blogger is all of the amazingly talented, funny, witty and inspirational women that I’ve gotten to know.  In New York I am fortunate to have a group of women (and a couple men too) whom I regularly see at events or record with or work with for days on end.  When I head out of town for an event or a conference I am usually extra excited because it means I will meet women whose work I read regularly and I feel like I know even though I’ve never actually seen them face to face.  So it is strange when I meet someone in this world and I really don’t like them.  But, it happens – and it’s very uncomfortable.

Celebrities often talk about how regular people assume that they know them because they relate so much to their character on TV or in films.  I think the same thing happens with bloggers.  While many journalists have followings bloggers are more personal in their writing for the most part.  Even political women bloggers tend to take on a personal note, sometimes relating their views back to their family or community.   When you add in the fact that bloggers feel banded together by being outside of mainstream media there is an added feeling of familiarity among the group.  I have had moments when social media made my day – when Judy Blume tweeted me, when Diane Ravitch retweeted me to name a few.  It’s not that I felt like Judy Blume and I were suddenly BFF (though my 11 year–old inner self hoped really, really hard for that) it’s that there was a feeling that this person whom I admired got me.  For that instant I was recognized by someone that mattered to me on a gut-level of giddiness.  When the opposite happens it’s like a slap-tweet (sleet?) in the face.

Last year at BlogHer I had that discomforting experience.  I met a blogger whom I admired online.  I sometimes dabbled in her niche, but it’s not my regular beat.  We both wrote for several common outlets.  We had commented back and forth occasionally – though looking back I think I commented on her posts more than the other way around.  But when I met her at BlogHer she was beyond dismissive.  There were brighter lights to stand near and she clearly had an agenda in mind for that day – and it was all about getting to some very big non-blog fish.  I get that.  But it totally changed my view of her and her blog.  I still read it when a tweet or FB post grabs my eye but I don’t participate in her community.  I also don’t respond to her fairly regular calls to action on her behalf – voting, entering giveaways, retweeting, etc.  I realized that while her blog is about bigger picture issues, she herself (at least to me) is all about promoting herself.  And that’s fine.  I just have to come to terms with the fact that I can like the blog without liking the blogger.  Maybe that means blogging really has entered the mainstream after all.