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There is nothing like it. Nervously preparing and walking into a room of forty second-graders not sure whether they will roll their eyes at you or be in awe of your presence. As I entered the classroom this morning to hold a writer’s workshop, I was met with whispers from the kids “Is that the author?” “She’s a nice one.” “That is the author!” That did a lot for my confidence. I was prepared, on time, even early. My demonstrations were set and my outfit did not require attention. My outline was etched into my brain. I was ready.

As I spoke I lost all track of time in the fun of what I was doing. I could measure whether or not I should keep going by the teacher’s face and signals so I did not worry. I just spoke and answered questions and interacted with the kids. It was amazing!

Of course, after its over, you go back through in your mind and say, “I could have done this differently or that better.” Today, however, I had no opportunity to wonder whether or not I had done well. Twenty-five kids in a line for my autograph was enough to tell me that I had succeeded. I had inspired. I love hearing them come up to me and say that they are working on a book. I love listening to them ask intelligent questions, “What was your inspiration?” “How many characters should be in a book?” “How old were you when you started writing?” I loved it when one girl came up to me with a bead in her hand and said, “This is to inspire you,” because I had told her I take my inspirations from the everyday things around me. Wow. I love speaking! I went to inspire them and they inspired me. That’s pretty cool.

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