Tribute to Paula Danziger
Paula Danziger
Paula Danziger - SCBWI NYC 2004
Paula and I first met in a restroom at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles at an SCBWI National Conference. She laughed when I told her I had typed most of an AMBER BROWN book into my computer to study her form and pacing. But that silly, little, accidental, encounter began a beautiful friendship. Later that week Paula gave me my very first SnackWell cookie. Okay, it was also my last, but I can never pass a SnackWell display without thinking of her. (May SnackWells live forever!)

Paula laughed when she called me and got my new answer machine message, “I’m sorry, but we do not answer our phone.” She laughed all through her message, too. “You HAVE GOT to USE that!” she said. “If you don’t, I will.” I saved that message for a very long time. And, when I do USE it, I will remember Paula and her joyous laughter.

We spent a great week together at Manhattanville College a few summers ago. After class was the best -- sitting in the library until closing -- playing computer card games and trying, with no success, to access a writers' chat room. Then sushi in the City, pink earmuffs, poring over Barfburger Baby, I Was Here First galleys, late night computer chats, and phone calls, and oh don’t forget the little glow in the dark earrings she gave me – purple – her favorite color – mine, too. (Well, at least for that day.) We had matching earrings. I always called her “Glitzy Girl!” Her earrings, rings, and necklaces; her scarves and boas, and beaded purses draped and hung all over her bedroom. These and her laughter and love all made up the Paula I knew, and are just some of the many “Paula” memories that I will cherish for always.

And so, saying good-bye to a friend is never easy. When it’s forever, it’s all so difficult. So I won’t say good-bye, Paula dear. Your fun-loving memory will be with me always. Our friendship wasn’t life-time, nor was it decades, (well almost) but the years that we called each other “friend” were very special, and to me those memories will always remain in my heart. I'll tell you again, "I love you, Sweetie."

With love, your friend,

Donna O'Donnell Figurski
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