I met Scott Westerfeld this weekend. A fine fellow. I did, of course, ask him the question that I always ask, the one this blog is based on: What’s the very first bedtime story you can remember?
Scott claimed to have very few childhood memories. He did not reveal where he put them, or what he might have purchased with them. But he did remember Charlotte’s Web. He hasn’t bartered that particular memory away.
Charlotte’s Web–and the words woven into the web–made a significant impression on Scott’s young self. “The right word at the right time can save your life,” he said. “Those words might be ‘some pig,’ or they might be ‘Don’t step on that land mine,’ but they can save your life. Finding the right words is important.”