Well, today should be interesting.
I’m breaking from my usual routine of get-up-drink-latte-write-blog-write-workout-and-so-on and am merely drinking black coffee from a French press, preparing to go do something I’ve never done before.
A friend who is a first grade teacher invited me to come speak to her class for Author Day, and I’m this mix of nerves-meet-excitement about it. When she invited me to speak, I warned her that I’m not technically an author, yet — that while I’ve made significant progress on my novel, I still have a long road to travel before that word applies to me.
Eh, she didn’t care. ”They’ll love you,” she told me, “They’ll be excited just to meet someone who’s writing a novel, published or not.” Alrighty, then. Speak I shall.
I’m going to do my best not to bore the little darlings with my (exciting-to-only-me) array of colored pens, my myriad notebooks, my stacks upon stacks of post-it notes, and the minutiae of what goes into a novel. Most of that will stay hidden away in my tote bag. Instead, I’m going to focus on the basics: what is a story, and how do you write it? Can you do it as a first grader? Does a book have to be a certain length? (Cue my dear visual aids of A Wrinkle in Time versus Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.) Where can you get ideas? (EVERYWHERE.)
After some attempts at engaging them, I’ll bust out my (totally geeky awesome) notebooks that represent the process — I have one with pictures of my villains and loads of brainstorming, a tattered first draft, a three-ring bindered second draft, and an example of some pages that are bleeding orange, purple, pink, red, and a couple of neon highlighting swipes to boot.
Before all of this, however, I need to tame my mane of hair so I don’t scare them away when I walk in the door. Seriously. I’m not exactly sure what a banshee looks like, but it’s the word that keeps coming to mind when I think of how my hair looks this morning.
Deep breath. It’s only a twenty-minute guest visit. Twenty minutes. Not hard, right?
It’s too late for me to fish for ideas, but out of curiosity — what would you guys say to a group of first graders about being an (aspiring) author?