Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The Best Question Ever
In October, I spent a week in the Norristown area of Pennsylvania doing five days of school visits. On the last day, during my last presentation, I had the single best question ever from a student. Now, I’m not talking about a cute, “out of the mouth of babes” type question, such as, “When did you go bald?” I’m talking about a smart, thoughtful question that made me pause, and took me out of my “performer” mode and really made the day memorable.
During my presentation, I talk about how my boys, Declan and Gavin, give me lots of ideas. I explain that they are responsible for some of the more crazy and disgusting scenarios in an upcoming series I am working on. In short, I let the children know that my two boys are my biggest inspiration.
During the Q&A part of my presentation, I let the kids ask anything they want. Usually, they want to know how many books I’ve done, or which book is my favorite. But this one, wonderful, thoughtful and insightful fourth grade girl raised her hand, and calmly asked…wait for it…
“Before you had kids, what was your muse?”
Wow. Best question ever. Not only did she know, and understood, what a muse was, but figured out that I’d been making books long before my kids were born. I actually paused for a moment with a huge grin on my face. She completely made my day, and my week. It seems that the teachers were equally shocked and impressed.
My answer was, “My niece, nephews, and other kids that I have known,” had all inspired me in some way or another. Then I looked right at her, and said, “I also get very, very inspired by the kids I meet at school visits!”