Tonight I’m going to Reading Camp. Not as a camper, obviously, but as a happy visitor who will talk about how, for me, being a reader came waaaaay before being a writer, but how, now, I can’t possibly separate these two essential parts of my life. I won’t talk too much though (I hope), as the main business will be helping kids create fictional characters and maybe even starting to write their stories.
I never went to camp as a kid. Also, I never met a real live writer. For a long time, I’m not sure I even knew there were such things as writers. For me, books were so real, so alive, I didn’t think of them as being made. They just were, the way the clouds and the ocean and my baby sister were.
Sometimes I wonder, if I’d met a writer when I was nine or ten, and if I’d realized she was just a regular person who drank chocolate milk and rode a bike and sometimes burned her toast–would I have realized that I could become one too? Would I have had that aha moment that came twenty years later, when I first tried to tell my own stories in my own words?
Who knows? What’s for sure is tonight I’ll be going to the camp I wish I’d had as a child, and I will try to make the experience as magical and generative as I can. I’m also, of course, hoping for s-mores!