My 7-year-old daughter loves to sing, and she recently had a chance to sing in front of a small group at a recital. The performance seemed to melt away any remnants of self-consciousness and free her inner chanteuse, because since then she’s been belting out Adele and Katy Perry and even Rascal Flatts at home. The other day she turned on an old favorite – Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel. Every time she launches into the chorus I have to laugh, remembering how she used to think it was Jesus take the Wii.
I’m sitting in a room with 25 fourth graders and we are all shouting, “I am an author! I have something to say!” I have goosebumps. I’m much older than 10 and have written a novel, but never in my life have I shouted those words. Call me a slow learner. Add to that humbled volunteer. I’m a writing coach at an Open Books literacy field trip; my group and I have just spent 2 hours learning about character and creating our own from a photo of a nondescript brunette twenty-something. The kids decide she is Anna, a fashion designer in New York City with an on-again-off-again boyfriend. She’s trying to pay off student loans and doesn’t know if she can afford to stay in the city.