Sunday, October 31, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

Reformatted version in colour

Original version, 1980's.

Presenting at a writing workshop. Usually love it, but yesterday I was exhausted afterwards and wondered if we are trying to do too much.

Today one participant says everything we did yesterday has fallen into place for her. 'It’s worthwhile after all,’ I think. I delight in the fact that so many of our teachers are creative and competent.

Later, we are looking at a humorous piece that one of the participants has written. It’s good. We share editorial ideas for making it just a bit sharper. I mention the importance of having humour in the material for our children, and how I have a friend who writes humour very well. (See Hazel Campbell’s blog on humour in Caribbean Children’s books.

Somebody says the book they really liked and thought was funny is The Runaway Car. Others join in, saying how they just love that story. It’s so funny. They are all laughing. Some are describing the behaviour of the characters, recounting the situations that they found most funny.

I am amazed! I laugh and say, “That story is mine, and I like it too.”

“It’s yours?” they say. “It’s hers!”

We are all laughing now.

(You may wonder how they might not know the story was mine. Well, Ministry books traditionally have the author’s name in small print on the imprint page.)

The fact that these persons have enjoyed my work, … and it’s such a spontaneous reaction … I am joyous! I feel as if writing is worthwhile. Writing for our children is worthwhile. We know it is, but sometimes you just wonder if you are making any headway. Yes we are! What a difference a day makes!

This blog replaces one still being written from last week, which was somewhat despondent about the significance of our children’s books to our people. Maybe there’s something to think about here.

What a difference a day makes!

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