I know this goes back to people and relationships; my friends and colleagues at this school blessed me in so many ways over the years. My teaching partner, especially, helped me through some tough times and showed me what a difference a truly fabulous teacher can make in the lives of children. (I could say much more, but this would get really long—just know that this lady is one of the most incredible teachers EVER!) As I walked through the halls, memories popped up all over the place and I marveled, over and over, about the fluidity of time.
Peeking into classrooms and finding myself in the role of an objective observer, I also recognized many little details from my writing; the way a classroom is laid out, the covered walkway to the music room, the hum of busy kids packing up after a fun day at school. There are some elements from my teaching days that I’ve intentionally sprinkled throughout my writing—a fun experiment my class did each year, the inflection of third graders’ speech, funny conversations with kids, super teachers and engaged students. But what I didn’t fully realize until last week is how much the sense of place and contentment and “fun learning” at this special school has seeped into my writing. It’s not necessarily something I can put my finger on, but I know it’s there—when I summon a “School” in my mind, this school environment is what my characters experience!I’ve always known that writing reflects an author’s experiences and memories, often without the author realizing it, but to come face-to face with this was lots of fun and very special. By no means is this the exact same school in my chapter books—this one is modern and bright and my fictional school is an old brick building that sprawls every which way (much like the elementary school I attended, now that I think about it…). But it was great fun to see the seeds that were planted so many years ago and to acknowledge how they have blossomed into ideas for setting, characters, story, and mood. With a little more tending and pruning, I hope to grow a published book series one day soon! ☺
What seeds of inspiration can you acknowledge in your writing?