Like Arya, I have a list of names.
They are the names of teachers and librarians I had up through high school, all women who encouraged me to read and write. I remember when I was first “published”: my teachers made books by laminating construction paper colored covers I created and spiral bound the pages I’d written together, and putting the “books” in the class library for others to read. I remember storytimes, and being allowed to skip lunch to go to the library or stay in the classroom and write. I remember encouraging yearbook messages “My little writer – never give up.”
I remember these names because I promised myself I would one day acknowledge them in the first book I ever got traditionally published. There are more names to add to the list – friends and mentors I’ve met along the way – but these are the women who, when I was very young, told me to chase that dream. That I could, and I would, and because of them I’ve always believed in myself.
That’s why I’m writing a Young Adult book for girls, and for the girl I was. “You can. You will.” Especially during times like these, I think that’s a very important message. I have kept it close to my heart and it’s giving me the strength to achieve all that I have and to keep going even when things are hard.
NaNoWriMo starts on Thursday and I’m writing a story about a world lost to darkness. There are two young women who want to reignite the sun – a seemingly impossible task. But they can. They will.
I will finish this story for you and for them 🙂