Uncategorized

My first author visit at a school

This may be a brief post as I’m so worn out I can barely stay awake, as my energy was taken up entirely by the day – and by the absurd levels of anxiety I’ve had for the past few weeks leading up to today – but it was a great experience and so I wanted to share a bit about it.

So, in partnership with the Isle of Wight Literary Festival Story Festival, which will take place in February 2020, I was invited to go into two schools and visit years 4-6. Lots of other children’s authors were invited to do the same, both local and from the mainland, and everyone I spoke to about it was very excited.

I was too, but as my anxiety runs riot with anything new that’s going on, and knowing my energy often gets spent very quickly when around people, I was terrified. To help ease some of that terror, I ended up scripting out what I wanted to do (even my introduction of who I am) and rehearsing it in my living room a few times until I was fairly confident that I wouldn’t forget any of the major points I wanted to make. I also made sure I had a copy of said script with me in case I lost my train of thought or my words decided to cease up.

I was very pleased with myself when neither of those actually happened, and I didn’t have to refer to my script once. And though I was nervous at the start of every class (I met with a total of five classes), as I got into what I was saying and my reading, my confidence came back. I also taught a mini workshop on where to get story ideas and how to progress them, and I was blown away by the level of creativity the students had, along with their enthusiasm.

I had a lot of fun, and the day really enforced the reason for why I write –  to share my stories and inspire people as other authors have inspired me.

Now, I may not be able to leave the house for a few days while I recover, but I have to say that all that anxiety and uncertainty was worth it, and I hope I get the chance to do it again next year.

Poetry

Name games

Thanks, sweetheart. Thanks, angel. Thanks, love. Thanks, sugar. Thanks, pet. Thanks, darling. Thanks, treasure. Thanks, precious.

Words of endearment stream from people’s mouths so easily now,

I begin to wonder if they’ve lost their meaning.

Complete strangers calling me more names than my family,

my friends, even my spouse.

 

I never hear them call the boys ‘love’ or ‘darling’.

I wonder why that is.

I hear ‘mate’, if any at all.

Thanks, mate. Good job, mate. Nice to see you, mate. Well done, mate.

 

Sometimes, everyone seems to be a star.

But why?

We’re just doing what’s been asked of us, what we’ve been trained to do.

I suppose that’s it.

You’re just responding in a way you think you’re being asked, in the way you’ve been trained.

Where a boy cannot be a treasure, and a girl cannot be a mate.

You might not think that anymore,

but the words remain from when you did.