Wanted: Mentor For Children's Book Writer

Lunch with the wonderful Dame Katherine Paterson was ... nothing short of inspirational (no, that's not us in the picture.) She made me feel safe enough to pose some of the questions that have been pestering me for years about this vocation, and responded with the honest, earthy take for which she's renowned.

I've started to take seriously my call to invest in younger writers (and younger people in general; I've even been asked to serve on a panel at Wellesley college -- not officially sponsored by the institution -- called "Can a Wellesley Woman ... Stay At Home?") But driving home from Vermont, I realized my own continuing need for mentors who are a bit further along the path.

What about you? Is there a person a decade or two older to whom you can turn for advice and inspiration in your vocation? What about a person a decade or two younger who seems to be seeking your input?