Today was a first for me. I talked to my son's second grade class about writing. I've talked to adults about writing, discussed the craft with friends and fellow writers, and attended workshops geared toward character and voice and pacing. But this was the first time I'd geared a talk for kids.
Now I know what you're thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. Erotic romance and children don't go hand in hand. But I wasn't pimping my books to seven and eight year olds. The name Marie Harte never came up in the conversation. We discussed writing, where to get ideas, what plagiarism is, what dedication is, and all sorts of terrific questions only second graders could ask. They did ask about my books, and I told them about the young adult story I'm nearly through and about the children's book I plan to write for my boys. They liked that.
It was refreshing to see such young, intelligent and creative minds opening to allow the room for possibility. It's okay to turn your annoying little brother into a frog...in a book. Or to throw your dog into a pool of sharks because he's actually SuperDog there to save your favorite toy from being eaten. And of course, he'll survive the day...in a story.
Talking to them reminded me of why I like to write. To bring joy to others, and okay, myself as well. Anything is possible in fiction. There are no limits, no boundaries to what's allowed. It's imaginary, but how wonderful to find a place where gods dine with mortals, the boogeyman likes disco, and happily-ever-after is a staple, not a rarity. In my world, kissing is more than okay. But in my kids', girls and boys never cross lips (ever), and play wall ball and video games that come to life. A heaven on earth in the mind.
I have to thank the teachers, Mrs. S. and Mrs. F., for allowing me such a wonderful opportunity, to plug in and recharge my creative juices. Because I found an idea this morning, staring at those wide eyes measuring me for my worth. I hope I entertained them, answered their questions, and encouraged them to write. Because a mind without imagination is like a playground without play.