Why is Words a story everyone should read?
From a very young age we begin to learn the cause and effect relationship we have with our environment. When we are belittled or ignored, when a friend doesn’t want to play with us or when someone calls us a name, we are left with negative feelings, an emotional bruise. Conversely, when our friendship is sought, when someone says nice things to us, when we are complimented, we feel empowered. The link between words and our self-hood becomes very evident. But sometimes, despite this understanding, we lose sight of the fact that we affect others in much the same way. We belittle, we put down, we ignore. We hurt others. Words encapsulates this understanding by exploring the pivots of words. It encourages empathy and advocates kindness, a reminder we can all use regardless of age.
What inspired the story?
Before Words became a story it was a poem and then an animation that I featured on my blog. They received great feedback from my online readers, but to me the most powerful response came from the youngest of readers, my Kindergarten class. I was completely taken-aback by the way the kids reacted to the animation. In a matter of minutes they transformed a simple letter into a living, breathing creature. ‘e’ was not just a letter anymore. ‘e’ was someone the children identified with, someone they empathized with, cared for – someone they notably loved. I was fascinated by their reaction to Little e (their name for the main character). My students tirelessly asked to watch the animation every chance we got. I was in complete awe. I watched them as they stood glued to the screen, ooing and aahing, riveted by Little e‘s adventures, smiling when he was happy, frowning when he was sad. Excited at the prospect of bringing e to life even further, I created a dummy of the book and presented the proof to my class.
What are you currently working on?
Anyone that knows me well knows I am never far from a sketch pad and pen. Ideas strike at all sorts of hours and a nagging voice tells me to write them down. I have several manuscripts in the works right now, which keep me pretty busy between school and home.