I’m a huge fan of reading aloud to children, from infancy until they tell you to stop (hint: this never happens).
But when the story I’m reading is my story, a special kind of magick happens.
Now that THE FAERY SWAP 1st draft is complete (*balloons* *streamers*), I’ve started to read it chapter-by-chapter at bedtime to my three boys (ages 8-12, perfect target audience). Each night, the requests to read start shortly after dinner, which makes Mom super happy. It doesn’t hurt that there’s pictures to go with it:
The AMAZING K. Marie Criddle made these for the first few chapters of THE FAERY SWAP. Can you imagine how much I squee each time I think of her drawing pictures FOR MY STORY?? *dies*
Back to the couch, where we are reading …
Once the chapter is read, the great, mad proliferation of imagination begins.
“You should add an evil sorcerer!”
“And jungle chickens!”
Never mind that there are no jungles nor chickens in the story. My boys don’t wait for the next chapter, they already have one cooking in their heads. And it’s undoubtedly better than the one I actually wrote.
My husband: “Maybe you should give her a chance to read the story, before you decide how it should go.”
No! I want to hear the wild excursions of imagination that my story is sparking in their heads. And then there are the times when their small bodies grow still, huddled together on the couch, eyes wide and ears listening intently to every word. They love it – you can see it in their bodies, hear it in their silence. That’s when I can barely keep reading, because I’m smiling so hard.
The best part is when my 12 yo, the writer, sees the future possibilities: “Oh!” he says. “The bullies! They’ve got to come back in a later scene and do this.”
Do you think? Perhaps. But you’ll have to read on to find out … *evil grin*
The husband actually requested a print out of the rest of the story to take with him on a business trip. And complained when I left him with a cliff-hanger (I hadn’t written the last four chapters at the time).
It seems the adults like to be read to, as well. #perksofbeingawriter
AND IN LATE BREAKING NEWS …
We haz Jungle Chicken:
the jungle parade and practicing his march like the elephants in Jungle Book.”