My (practically) true story:

 
      

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there lived in New York City a small, beloved princess. She was blessed with loving parents, two sets of loving grandparents, and plenty of loving uncles and loving aunts. At that  time the little princess was the only child in the entire devoted family,  and so she grew, adored, pampered and even spoiled, in her privileged house filled with books and music and art, writers and musicians and artists.

When the little princess turned four she and her parents moved to Rochester, New York. To make sure that she wouldn’t feel too lonely having left most of the family in New York City, the little princess was soon provided with a brand new baby brother. He was sweet and smiling. The princess loved him, and she still does to this day.

Always looking for adventure, the family soon moved again, this time to Madison, Wisconsin, to a large palace on a lake. The princess blossomed with the roses. She was a good little princess. In all the years there, only once did she fall in the lake, but even though she was wearing her red velvet dress she wasn’t scolded for it.

Time passed, palaces changed. Just before she turned sixteen, she and her little family moved one more time, to San Francisco, California. This time the palace sat high on a hill overlooking the bay.

It was in California that the princess completed her formal schooling, at Mills College in Oakland, with BA and MA degrees in art. Then it became time to find adventures of her own.

The no-longer-little princess set out to seek her fortune. Full of independence and anxious to give back to the society that had treated her so well, she took a job teaching underprivileged, inner-city children in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Not a week had passed when along came a knight in shining armor. Before the year was out, the princess and her knight were married.

They settled on the east coast, first in Washington, D.C., then for many years in Bethesda, Maryland, and later, for many more years, in Baltimore, Maryland. They lived happily with their three children.

Back in 1984, the no-longer-little princess began to tell stories of her own just like this one. Because of her interest in art, she always made pictures to go with her words. She began illustrating her tales with wood-cuts, but very soon her impatient nature forced her to find a faster medium. She chose collage. All but the first two of her 40 books are illustrated with cut and torn papers from all over the world, and bits of many other things, too: threads, fabrics, wood shavings, photographs, doilies, insides of envelopes, dried flowers. She is always looking for things to glue onto her pictures that she hopes are full of surprises.

Now the princess has silver hair. Her children are grown-ups. Nine years ago, she and her husband moved to New York. Today they live in a tiny palace, right on the river. They look at the New York skyline from the windows of their ivory tower. In spite of her silver hair, the princess is not old and tired. She still works hard, every single day, writing and illustrating books for children.

“And I’ll never stop, either,” says the princess, “because this is living happily ever after.”

Well, what did you expect? Everyone knows that that’s what princesses are supposed to do.

Click here for a book about Susan L. Roth by Margaret Morgan.