I just spent a most enjoyable morning with the eighth graders at Danville School. Today is the last day before Winter Break and, hopefully, I left them inspired to read fantasy over the next week and beyond.
It has been awhile since I visited a school, and this was my first ever public school appearance. I wasn't nervous, though I wasn't overly prepared either, having decided to go into this author visit and just be myself, which is someone who loves encouraging others.
It's true that people live up to what you expect of them. I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into that library this morning, but I knew one thing: those kids are just kids. They aren't scary. They aren't challenging. They aren't even apathetic, though sometimes they might come across that way. They are just kids who want someone to believe in them, so they can believe in themselves.
Peeking at the rapt faces over the top of my reading glasses, I saw young people who have a lot to offer the world. In fact, what they have no one else can offer. Each of us is unique. If we don't leave our mark, it won't get left by anyone else. My characters - Aryelle, Lureli & Eleanor - learn this the hard way. I'm praying these students will take an easier route and decide to make the world a better place than they found it before it tries to break them.
It's raining out now, but it's still a beautiful day, full of potential for growing. Here's to seeds just planted - may they be nourished in the fertile soil of a rich imagination, and produce great fruit!