It’s another monthly Tween the Weekends! Click on the banner for a list of posts over at the Emblazoners site.
Some called me an old soul as a child. I could be as silly and playful as the next kid, but I also conveyed a grown-up-in-a-kid’s-body attitude starting at a young age. Perhaps it’s the plight of the oldest sibling or maybe because I had super young 60’s era parents that encouraged my swings into being the “serious one” so young. Whatever the reasons, I grew up like a pendulum, moving back and forth between two personas. The pendulum sort of stuck into the adult side once I hit my twenties and stayed there pretty firmly for years. College, motherhood, and day jobs all made heavy demands on me. There were of course moments when my inner child jumped out, but it wasn’t until my later thirties that the pendulum began to swing back toward the child side of me again. And that’s when I really dove into writing for tweens/teens.
I believe every children’s writer (those who write picture books all the way up to young adult novels) are deeply in touch with the child inside themselves. They have to be. How else can they draw out characters rich in age-appropriate outlooks and banter; how else can they tap into situations that a kid is going to relate to on a personal level; how else can they fully engage their readers?
My husband informed me just the other day as we strolled through a theme park full of children, “You are such a kid.” I have to agree with him. It seems the older I grow, the younger I become. I’m still a serious person on many levels (I’m also an accountant, for goodness’ sake), but I find that I’m able to let go and relax a whole lot more these days. Over the past decade, my imagination has soared in ways it hadn’t since I was young. The pendulum swung me from an old soul in a child’s body to a child’s soul in an adult body. And it suited me.
I’m always happy to meet other writers working in this same “space.” I often find myself looking deep into their eyes until I spot my own reflection riding on the back of a dragon, or chit-chatting with a friendly toad, or maybe whizzing through the school halls on the latest hover shoes. Playing with our imaginations is fun. Kids know that, and us big kids could benefit from a little time swinging into that land where we are forever youthful and our creations endless.