I enjoy writing fiction and nonfiction for children. Both require finding all the perfect pieces to the puzzle, including where and when to place those pieces. They don’t always fit for a variety of reasons. It’s also about timing and revision. I research for both my fiction and nonfiction projects. I am researching even when I think I know enough. Research is a treasure hunt.
In a recent Smithsonian/SCBWI nonfiction writing conference, I had an ah ha or ha ha moment. I love to read and write nonfiction. In my childhood home, reading materials were primarily nonfiction. We had World Book Encyclopedias, National Geographic Magazine and N. Geo. books, Life magazine and Time/Life books. My fiction reading diet focused on dogs, horses, and outdoor adventure.
As a kid, I read and studied about nature and other cultures. Someone said, “you are what you eat.” If you consume books, then you might reflect those books you have devoured. As a child I was the poster child for quiet. I listened and observed. Those skills served my professions, relationships, my art and word smithing.
My mother had two telling stories about me that her life-long friend shared with me after she died. I played by myself in the family room and chatted away with all the friends who kept me company. Second, my mother received numerous phone calls from my teachers. Diane is looking out the window. She’s daydreaming during class, again. Didn’t they know it was a hobby? On long car treks into the wild Canadian lakes, the moment we crossed over the Peace Bridge, I rode a horse through the landscape changing outside my window. WEIRD KID TURNS INTO STORYTELLER is bound to be a bestselling biography someday.