This week I was on vacation, and most of my talking was done with beach denizens like the one pictured above. But I also had a few conversation with family members. One of the best was with my niece, sitting at the very bench this mutt is occupying. My sister asked me when my book, Twisted, would be out, and my niece Leyla, who is 11, asked in some awe, “you wrote a book?” When I told her I had, she said:
Leyla: That’s so cool. I want to be a writer. But I know I need another job, too.
Me: That’s probably true. It’s hard to make money as a writer.
Leyla: I thought I could be a teacher. But that’s a hard job, too.
Me (having been a teacher for many years): Yes, it is. It doesn’t leave you a lot of time for writing.
Leyla: I could write in the summer.
Me: Well, that would be fine, depending on what kind of writing you want to do. But what if you have a deadline? For example, when I got my contract for the book coming out in November, it was for two books and I’d only written one of them. The other one is due September 1.
Leyla: And how’s that working out for you?
[After much laughter from the adults]
Leyla: Did you like writing your book?
Me: Sometimes. Sometimes not. Like when my editor said, ‘this stuff here doesn’t work at all. It has to go. Needs to be rewritten.’
Leyla: My teacher does that, too. [In her best “adult” voice] ‘Leyla, this part doesn’t flo-o-w.’
So, yeah, she’s well on her way to being a writer!