I have to move.

Am I being evicted? Uprooted? Transferred?

Nope. Nada. Nix.

I have to move because of my address.

It's boring. Or as L. M. Montgomery's heroine, Anne Shirley might say, 'It has no scope for the imagination'.

As a children's writer, I need all the 'scope' I can get. (Insert mouthwash joke here.) But how is one to feel the least bit inspired on a street with the unimaginative name of Joyce?

Oh sure, Joyce is a good name for females. Like Jane, Joan, and Jean, it is sensible, strong, and denotes an all-around likable gal.

But as an address, I'm afraid it fizzles.

I recently found out that the gentleman who is going to illustrate one of my books lives at 'Cherry Tree Cottage'. What a wonderful address! An address fit for a children's illustrator! Lots of 'scope' there. If one cannot feel inspired at Cherry Tree Cottage they must truly be a tortured soul.

Or how about Klickitat Street? That's where Beverly Cleary's Ramona character lived. But it is really, truly a street in Oregon. A street that inspired fun and play and the little girl who captured America's heart.

I have never had the opportunity to live on a street with a fanciful name. I grew up on Center, moved to Triangle, then to Sheek. (Which could've been inspirational if someone had been inventive enough to spell it Chic.) But alas, they didn't.

Am I destined to spend my days in a residence on a street with a name duller than chalk?

Heaven forbid!

I just have to move. And when I do move, it will be to an address that rings with inspiration. In my own little corner of the world, I have found two possibilities--Chipmunk Trail and Tulipwood Lane. I would write wonderful stories on Chipmunk Trail! (Who wouldn't?) A few towns over I found Yellow Brick. ( Can you imagine how creative a person would feel living on Yellow Brick Road!?) Or, I may just have to move south, near my father who lives on Hamster Way which is very near to Caribou Court and Wallaby Lane. Or maybe I'll go west, near my friend who has the good fortune to live on Shady Meadow Drive. (She is always inspired and writes absolutely wonderful stories!) Or how about north, near my in-laws in Newberry, which is just next to Paradise. (Which every children's author knows is absolutely true--even if the town got the spelling wrong.) There's a street called Shady Lane nearby, which is almost as good as Cherry Tree Cottage.

In any event, I must move. I am sure all kindred spirits will understand. As for the rest of you--Can I interest you in a house for sale on Joyce Road?

(Addendum--I wrote this essay several years ago and have just now put my house up for sale. I am finally moving! Where, you ask? Well, you can bet the house on Rosewood will provide plenty of scope for my imagination.)


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