Written by Courtney Couch
Photographed by Julia Madden Sears
"Meg was the kid who had her hand up to her elbow in the junk drawer, looking for the Scotch tape.
She created storybooks out of construction paper, then traded construction paper and Scotch tape for quilled pens and watercolors.
She is an artist in many ways—and confident enough to admit that she has even imagined rewriting the ending to her favorite book series, The Lord of the Rings. Meg loves J.R.R. Tolkien because, she says, “He just gets humanity and he gets writers. He [even] wrote an excellent nonfiction essay called ‘On Fairy Stories’ that defends the fairy tale as an adult genre.”
Although Meg won’t reveal her favorite book because, “that's like telling a mother to pick her favorite child!” she laughs, grins sheepishly, and admits that she, “can't pick just one!”
Maybe that’s because in all of his work, Tolkien does what Meg also strives to do: tell the truth in a way that inspires imagination—in both fiction and nonfiction.
Maybe it’s that blend of truth, humanity, and imagination that explains why the journals that contain scribbles of Meg's poetry and nonfiction are decorated with half-finished watercolor paintings of her favorite animals, like foxes in top hats, and idyllic scenes of majestic sailboats.