My Yellow Brick Road
World Read Aloud Day was a huge hit yesterday, and our Skype with Navjot Kaur certainly stole the show. After a few minor audio complications, we were off and running! I am so thankful we had the opportunity to trade emails beforehand because Navjot was able to tie in some special connections from her book while talking with my class about things we've been learning. She had them spellbound for nearly an hour, which pretty much makes her magical in my book.
After the read aloud, hands were popping up all across the room -- 21 eager 4th graders ready to ask questions. Everything from "what inspired you to become a writer," to "where do your ideas come from," to "have you ever cried when your book was rejected." I definitely have a class filled with writers!
We ended our conversation with her and had about 5 minutes to reflect on the Skype session before we had to jump up and run off to recess.
And my kids completely shocked me with where the conversation went.
"Soooo, Mrs. Mogk," one of them began, "You have books you've written."
21 heads nodded at me, eyes wide.
"Well, yes," I say, unsure of where they're going.
"But... you haven't even tried to get yours published?"
21 students fold their arms and glare at me accusingly.
(Okay, fine, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.)
"Oh. Well, they aren't quite ready yet..."
"But you have stories! You read them to us all the time! And you finished your NaNoWriMo novel! You told us!"
21 little bodies start bouncing up and down, shouting things at me in rapid succession.
"Navjot Kaur said she kept sending out her book even though she CRIED sometimes when it was rejected!"
"You said you want to have a book published, so you should do it!"
"It would be SO COOL to have a teacher that was an author too!"
"Navjot Kaur said sometimes you have to believe in your story even when no one else does!"
I had a full-blown fist-pumping riot brewing in my room.
I laughed. Partly because I didn't know what to say, partly because they were right.
Thankfully, it was time to line up for recess.
At home, I started browsing publisher sites, submission guidelines, the how-to's of picture book publication. I felt a little dizzy. A little unsure of where I'm headed.
A little like Dorothy on her yellow brick road.
Am I ready for talking trees and flying monkeys and mean ol' witches?
I certainly hope so.