Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Very Special Dedication

One of the true pleasures of this writing life is encouraging younger writers. Sometimes they are
younger in the sense of career development, not years. Sometimes it's both, but the difference is more of life experience and craft technique -- high school and college students, for example. Yes, they're young enough to be my children (as you can see from the gray hairs in my pic), but they have all or most of their formal education behind them. Someone else taught them how to read and write a reasonably coherent sentence, as well as the foundations Western history and civilization, hopefully a second or third language, and basic math and science, not to mention the arts.

Every once in a while, life hands me a treasure in the form a child brimming with curiosity and dreams. I don't want to take the place of parent or teacher, but one thing I can do is let that child know they can become a writer (or an artist, or a musician, or a dancer). I can show them a book with my name on the cover and say, "You can do this, too."

Sometimes, kidlet rolls eyes in disbelief, but sometimes...sometimes I see the "penny drop." The spark ignite.

I've had the privilege of encouraging two children of a dear friend, also a writer. I can't in any way claim credit for how great these kids are turning out -- that's all their parents' doing. But I did just get this note that brought tears to my eyes:

Dear Deborah, 
I am writing poems for Young Authors, and I am dedicating my book to you, because I think you are very special to me.

There is indeed hope. The future is in good hands. 

The painting is by Swiss artist Albert Anker (1831-1910)

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