A couple of weeks ago, I came home to a box on my doorstep from Lerner. I thought it might be my author copies of my next picture book, even though that’s still 5 months from publication. I ran into the kitchen and tore open the box.
Nope. Not If You Were the Moon.
Instead, I found copies of my Can Be… books inside. There was a beautiful Korean edition of Water Can Be… and Chinese editions of all three Can Be… books.
It was very cool to see new editions of my books. The different papers, fonts, design choices, etc., always fascinate me. But the weirdest thing is that authors get notified of these foreign language editions after the fact. The Korean edition of Water Can Be… came out last fall, in 2015. The Chinese editions of all three Can Be… books came out this summer.(Or maybe I have those reversed–I can’t find the letter at the moment.) Either way, the idea that kids on the other side of the world have been able to read one of my books for more than a year, and I didn’t even know it, is amazing.
When we write things down, put our best ideas onto paper, in the very best form and in the very best words we can conjure up at that moment, they become a thing. A thing that might travel around the world without us. A thing that might exist and affect someone without us ever knowing.
That’s one of the greatest and scariest things about being a writer–whether you write books, blog posts, stories for school, or whatever. Once you share it in a form that can be shared further, it lives without you. It’s like having your kids go visit other people’s homes without you. You hope you’ve done a good job and they will be friendly and worthwhile guests. If that’s not great inspiration for doing top-notch writing, I don’t know what is.
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