I don't normally share links on this blog, but this one is so moving. It's about the power of poetry - and mean words.
We know the power of words, don't we? Words are our job, after all. Many of us write about underdogs or those who have been hurt deeply. This includes me. I've been working on the revisions for my forthcoming book, ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG, FAT QUITTER. It's a mostly funny story about a girl with ADHD who takes up taekwondo to prove she can stick with something. But it's also about how Eliza is lonely because she's different. There's a scene where Eliza talks about not having any "sleep over friends." My agent tells me this makes her cry every time she reads it.
Know what makes me cry? The parts about how some girls at school filled Eliza's lunch bag with trash and gave her the nickname Every Day Eliza because she wears the same clothes to school. Those things, along with the no sleep overs part, make me cry because they really happened to my beautiful daughter.
She is the inspiration for my book. The "real life Eliza" if you will. Like Eliza, my daughter took up martial arts and found a home. (She will be testing for her 3rd degree black belt this weekend.) And like Eliza, she is strong, smart, creative and amazingly kind despite being bullied so badly she had to change schools three years ago. She is happy now. But make no mistake, she still carries the scars.
So many kids don't make it to the other side. These beautiful, lost souls never learn -like it says in the video - They Were Wrong.
I will keep writing stories about those kids. For those kids. Because those kids are *my* kid.