Saturday, February 11, 2012

School Love (February Theme; Jody Feldman)


There are those moments you don’t forget. This one came when I was still pre-published, still raw from a particularly heart-wrenching rejection. I was on my daily cardio-walk past an elementary school filled with sounds you can only hear in a schoolyard. “If only,” I thought in regard to my book on submission. “If only I could go into schools and talk to kids.”

In a less emotional state, that might have had me figuring out a way to be a touring motivational speaker. But no. I wanted something more specific than I’d voiced. I wanted to be invited into schools because I’d written a book kids and teachers and media specialists wanted to talk about, wanted me to talk about.

Sometimes you throw things out into the universe and they do stick. And sometimes you should be careful what you wish for.

Not too much later I got my “yes,” had my first novel published, and scheduled my first school visit. But then reality struck. I needed to go into that school and talk. I got a bit terrified. What should I say? How could I entertain these kids and bring something worthwhile to this school? Like many authors, I’m inherently shy. Would they see through me? Would I blank out? Would I survive? Ahhhhh!!!

It turned out that my wish to go into schools and talking to students – from elementary through college – was something worth wishing for. I love the moment before they’ve heard my voice, wondering if the sounds and words match their expectations. I love all the hands that shoot up when it’s time for questions. I love the challenge of being asked something new, something off the wall, something they maybe shouldn’t ask.

I love going into schools. And I love the reason I get to.

3 comments:

  1. When I was a kid I always loved it when a published author would come and speak. It's great you get to do that and I know the kids enjoy it too!

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  2. There's just nothing like getting a chance to connect directly with readers!

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  3. It feels like the kids enjoy. All I know is that as drained as I am by the end of a day of school visits, I also get this creative energy surge that continues to feed me when I'm not sure whether I can write another word.

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