I think the best part of writing for young children is that I seem to have an endless supply of ammunition at my disposal. I cannot tell you how many times per day my kids do or say something that would not be considered to be at least borderline classic. For example, tonight I get home from class and my husband is working diligently trying to reinsert our laptop's keys back into the keyboard. My husband's frustrated grunts and eye rolls left me hanging so I walked over to get an explanation straight from the horse's mouth, who was poking her little, wide eyed face guiltily out her bedroom door. When I asked why she wanted to pluck each key from the machine she whimpered, "Well, I wanted to pretend like they were my chocolates." As my heart melted into oblivion I immediately smiled with complete admiration for her ability to imagine those tiny keys to be pieces of chocolate, without a doubt inspired by our new advent calender. Other examples that spring to mind are her comments about being sick or hurt. "I have the cold" or "Mommy, do you see my pain?"
This brings me to another topic I have been tossing around in my little noggin the last few days. The issue of voice. I think my sweet munchkins supply me with endless examples of voice for their age group. But recently I have been wanting to give middle grade literature a go. Only, my manuscript was filled with wackadoodle words like, wackadoodle. With a four and a two year old, I feel as if I am destined to talk as little people do the rest of my life. I tell adults I have to go potty. "My goodness!" is my exclamation of choice. I am a modern day Mr. Rogers spin off. So how can I find the voice of a middle grader if I do not encounter them every now and again? I have devised a plan: One, check out more popular middle grade fiction from the library. Two, watch Nickelodeon like a mad woman. Three, well, I only have two I guess. But I believe I am off to a great start! With the end of the semester winding down, you can find me now with my nose in books entitled, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Hugo Cabaret something-or-other. Amelia Bedelia here I come!