The title of this piece is "Balancing Act" and that's exactly the way I've been feeling lately. Switching back and forth on a daily (and usually hourly) basis between writing, illustrating and teaching has me feeling like this kitty - trying very hard not to spill my wine.
In my most recent residency with 4th through 6th graders we're working on "I am" poems, which is perfect, because what kid doesn't want to talk about themselves, right? But these I Am poems are more than just talking about themselves. It's a poem in three parts.
The first part is all about how they see themselves and metaphor plays a big part in how they're to express that.
The second part is a bit of a shift. Metaphor is still involved but this section of their poem is how these students think OTHER people see them. So, labels are probably going to come up. Kids hear them all the time.
The third part of their poem is what they wish to be. And you know, this is the section I'm most looking forward to. Getting a front row seat hearing the dreams, hopes and wishes of a pack of children is just what the doctor ordered.
Before I subjected these kids to my mad scientist writing experiment, I practiced it on another subject - the main character in my latest novel I'm revising. Now THAT was a revelation. By asking that 17 year old teenage girl character the questions in these three parts of that I Am poem, I learned so much about not only what she does - but who she IS.
Hmm. This crazy balancing act is totally worth it.