When I was in fourth grade, I wrote a book called Molly Mouse Returns Home, the riveting sequel to my third-grade debut (curious minds can read about it here).
I loved to write under any conditions as a kid (especially if I had those cool multicolored gel pens), but there was something special about Young Authors week, when everyone in the class got to write, illustrate, and bind our own books. (Mrs. Strukel, if you’re out there, I’d like to thank you, as I now realize what an undertaking it must have been to help some thirty ten-year-olds complete this project, no doubt requiring excessive amounts of time, patience, and rubber cement.)
When it was Young Authors week, suddenly I wasn’t just a writer anymore; I was an author. My words weren’t merely tucked in a notebook in my dresser drawer; they were out there for the world (or at least my twenty-eight fellow classmates) to see. In short, I was getting published.
The final day of Young Authors week was an all-out literary party. We read each other’s books and signed them in the back, and as I read my classmates’ stories, I marveled at these people I thought I knew. Wow, Jackie is so creative! Who knew Darren could draw so well?
The pinnacle of the day was when the local acting troupe came in. They chose one story from each grade to act out in front of the whole school at an assembly, and we all sat on the edge of our seats, wondering whose stories would be chosen. My mind swirled, recalling all the amazing tales I’d read that day. The one scenario I never imagined was what actually happened.
When it was time for the last skit, the emcee stepped up to mic. “Our next story is . . . Molly Mouse Returns Home!”
I sat there stunned. Of all the stories, they had chosen mine?
Fast-forward to 2014. Just a few weeks ago, I received a twenty-six-page packet in the mail, filled with big legaly words like indemnities and proration and force majeure—and also the two most important words: BOOK CONTRACT. It has taken me a while to get my mind around it, but it’s true: For the first time since fourth grade, I’m going to be published.
After I watched my story about Molly Mouse come to life onstage, my ten-year-old self was shaking out of sheer gratitude and awe. That’s when I saw my mom in the crowd. I didn’t know until later that my teacher had called to fill her in on the surprise, but at the time it didn’t matter how she’d gotten there; it just mattered that she was there.
I threw all my fourth-grade bravado aside and ran straight to my mom’s arms. This big thing had just happened, and I got to share it with someone who knew me and loved me. (Added bonus: My teacher let Mom emancipate me for an hour to get lunch off campus.)
And you know what? That’s kind of how I feel right now. As exciting as it is that someone is making my words come to life in a real-live book, it’s equally an honor that I get to share it with all of you. You have encouraged me, loved me, and shared your stories with me for the last several years. And it feels amazing that God has allowed me to share this adventure with all of you.
I got rather long winded with this post (I guess that happens when you start by going back to the fourth grade), so I’ll save my announcement about what the book is about for the next post.
Until then, I want to know about you: What’s something you’re looking forward to, big or small?