On a trip sixteen years ago I wrote a chap book idea in my journal and have carried the thought in my mind ever since. For as long as I’ve been visiting schools I’ve been asked by students if I ever write chap books, those in-betweeners that fall somewhere between early readers and young adult books. My answer has always been no.
I finally decided to stop saying no and consider what it might take to say yes. In reviewing my old journal I reread those early notes and became excited again. The last week or so has been taken with additional research, more note taking, figuring out a plot, naming and knowing my characters, and creating an outline.
Yesterday I believed I was ready. On a fresh page I wrote my name in the header and the page number in the lower right side. At the top of the page I wrote, CHAPTER ONE.
For a time I sat there looking at those two demanding words so full of promise and puzzlement, wondering if I’m really cut out for this sort of thing. Maybe I’m too old to learn new tricks. But I was in my 50s when I started writing poetry. I shrugged and went to the kitchen and returned with more coffee.
Then I wrote the first sentence.