Fairytales Do Come True
by Donna Parker
Once upon a time…
Diane Stanley, ’65 dreamed about a white knight with whom she’d have lots of children and live with ‘happily ever after.’ A first-rate plan, but life was writing another script and the knight had to wait. You see, Diane also loved to read and learn, viewing Trinity University as a huge ‘buffet,’ where she wanted to ‘major in everything.’
“My whole focus was education and social activities, as getting a job after college was not an expectation back then.”
Diane signs up for art classes her senior year. Her Figure Drawing professor pulls her aside after class and tells her she has ‘real talent.’ Good call—Diane is now a successful author and illustrator, recently honored with the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award.
Along the way, Diane did have two princesses and one young prince, praying they would enter the family business. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. They’re pursuing careers in law, art history and show business; writing their own chapter books, as it were. That suits this lauded author just fine, as she calls them her ‘greatest achievement.’ They served as young test readers while Mom created such literary gems as The Last Princess and Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation.
These days, Diane travels to elementary schools, reading passages from her books and inspiring future little authors and artists to strive for their own goals. Meanwhile, Diane is living her passion and says being a children’s author is, “...like an exclusive club I always wanted to be in.”
In between travels, Diane watches the pinion pines from her home office, nestled in the Sangre de Christos Mountains and waves to neighbors Gene Hackman and Diane Keaton.
And she lived happily ever after