I received a letter in the post yesterday.
On the front it said: Parent/Guardian of Mini-Me* Belfield. Across the top it read: Young Writers.
I thought What’s this, then? and without further ado, ripped open the envelope, pulled out some papers, and started reading.
Recently, Mini-Me’s school … submitted some of their pupils’ work for Young Writers’ Mini Sagas competition. For this exciting competition, pupils were asked to write a mini saga on a theme that inspired them, with the added challenged of using 50 words or less.
Now, I remember said mini saga well. Mini-Me came home with the story to write as homework and told me he’d been set an ‘impossible’ task.
I told him ‘fiddlesticks’. Nothing is impossible in the world of writing. It’s the authors right to make anything happen that they so choose.
“But I can’t do it,” he’d said. “They want a setting, a character, and action … with FIFTY WORDS!” <<Yes, that last bit was said in full-on teenager style.
I told him to sit down. Then I told him to give me a name.
He chose ‘Jeffrey’.
I told him to give me a setting.
He chose a block of flats (apartments to the peeps across the pond).
So we stuck Jeffrey on the roof. And then we made him jump … to the next block of flats.
In fifty words, we’d created a free runner.
My son looked at me like I was kinda cool (only kinda), and he took his homework to school with pride in his eyes.
So, remembering said evening where I’d connected in a beautiful way with a fourteen year old boy (who just happens to be almost six foot tall and broad enough for me to hide behind), I read on in the received letter … and I reached a part that said:
… I am delighted to let you know that Mini-Me’s story, Leap, has been chosen for publication in Mini Sagas – Swashbuckling Stories The Midlands. A copy of the book will be sent to the British Library ……. providing a lasting record of your child’s achievement.
Ooooooooooooh, I thought.
Then I reached another part that said:
Leap has been typeset and a proof copy is enclosed. Please check the proof and mark any changes in red ink.
Just like how I work with my editor. Like a proper publication. With a date they must receive the edits back by and the signed form for copyright purposes giving them permission to publish it (an author’s version of a contract).
And then onto the last part where I read a bit that said:
Mini Sagas – Swashbuckling Stories The Midlands is scheduled for publication on 30th November 2011.
It is an awesome moment when a parent gets this kind of letter home—especially when it comes as a result of time we spent together and of him listening to me … yes, my son LISTENED to me (that’s an achievement in itself, right?).
So it is with pride swelling in my chest that I say: My son: The published author.
What proud Mum moments have you experienced recently?
Disclaimer: *Mini-Me is not actually my son’s name—who would be that cruel?—but I do like to protect the identity of my family and so often refer to my children in this way.