I'd drink a toast to Julia Child and Charles Dickens. These may seem to be odd choices at first, so I'll explain. Julia Child taught me to cook, one of my passions. When the people around me laughed at the idea of a blind girl learning to cook well, her books and TV shows helped me to dream and then to learn to cook. Her voice wasn't exactly beautiful, but she did a TV show and shared her love for good food from the heart. She taught me about spunk and being adventurous.
As for Dickens, I grew up in what many would call grinding poverty. I am 34 years old. Unlike many people my age, I didn't have indoor plumbing, central heat, or air conditioning at all until 1986 when I was 14. When I discovered Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, I felt like I'd found friends who understood some of my feelings. Dickens helped me find words for the desire to have something better without taking away from someone else. So these are 2 of my author heroes.
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