Thursday, December 16, 2010

story time

Yesterday, there were lots of messages.

First, one of my favorite things happened: I received a hand-made, hand-written card from a friend and reader overseas. I have to say I do enjoy receiving email from readers, especially young ones, but there is nothing at all like getting an actual handwritten note on paper. I keep them always. So, thanks for that, kid. You know who you are.

I also got a very nice email from my agent. Not that I've ever gotten a not-nice email from her. But it's always nice to wake up to such things.

And, on yesterday's blog, Connie left a comment that, Maybe one day your students can share some of their stories with us.

I'm sure they will.

Absolutely positive.

But, in a very cool coincidence, I heard from one of my alumni Young Writers yesterday, who is now away at college, and I really want to share his (edited for confidentiality) message here, and a comment about it, too.

He said:

I just want to thank you for getting me interested in writing. I recently got two pieces published in the newspapers near... Thinking about it now, I would have never had the confidence to do that, had I not had previous experience and confidence from my short story. In the future with any success I have I want you to know the incredible impact you have had on me as a writer.

Okay. Well, naturally, things like that make my day.

But it also made me think that there are so few messages kids get from school about what they can be. It seems like all schools want kids to be is part of a column in a bar graph, a contributing factor to their API rating, a number that designates a payoff of proficiency on a standardized test.

And, after that, you're on your own, kid.

Proficiency and test data results are not living.

Nice to know there's at least one kid out there who's taken that message with him.