The galloping heart in my chest was the least of my concerns. I swallowed boldly and whispered sweet nothings to my stomach, begging for it to forgo the summersaults. My car seemed to know the way to Darlington School from the countless times I’d been there before, when I worked there as the school event photographer. However, this was my first time arriving as a published author and I was heading there to give a presentation.
With everyone’s expressions hidden under Covid19 face coverings, I could only guess how the children looked and felt. There was no way to “read the room.” As I looked closer into their eye’s, I told the story as the pictures larger than life helped guide my way through the production. Yes, I was giving a performance of such! Moments into speaking, I realized the audience didn’t fade into black, my mouth wasn’t dry, nor did my skin dampen and sweat drip. I was speaking for the first time in front of an audience, as a published author and everything was good!
Sharing my love of adventure, the world (places/geography), art and animals made me beam. Near the end of the second presentation, I revealed a secret to these young readers that I am dyslexic and added how Cody the Cockatrice is not only a Cockatrice god-parent, but he takes care of children with heart diseases, allergies, and things like that and he is there to help them. Showing the children that we are not alone and with hard work and if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.
My childhood dream was to publish a story, and now I am sharing the dream with all these young brilliant minds. As I drove away from the school, the little child in me yelled, “Again, again!” It was the first time I felt like a “real” author and saw the joy of bringing the world of books to others.