Letters to My Daughter

Some of you may know that I’m about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life thus far: becoming “Mom” to a little girl due on the first of April. I’ve never been a mom to anyone other than my two cats, so needless to say there is a LOT going through my mind these days.

As I started to build one of the most important aspects of the nursery, Eliana’s own little bookcase, I began thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned from fictional characters growing up, how much they’ve molded me and shaped my world view. I began wondering what lessons my own daughter might glean from some of my favorites.

That’s when a writing friend and critique partner had a brilliant idea- what if I wrote letters to my daughter while she was still young (or in this case, still in utero!) from the voice of some of my most beloved characters. I instantly took to this idea and all those fictional characters of my childhood began clamoring for my attention at once. Now I plan to make this an ongoing series here on the blog!

Letters to My Daughter

From Fictional Characters

hermione31

Hermione Granger

Harry Potter

Dear Eliana,

I hope this letter finds you well. I hear your mum is going to let you open it on your eleventh birthday, right after your acceptance letter from Hogwarts arrives. Though the list of required school books that will accompany your acceptance letter is a great place to start, I’ve attached my own list of recommended titles that should really round out your reading list.

I know what you must be worried about: the Sorting. It’s what every first year worries about but I promise it won’t be as bad as you think. I might be a proud Gryffindor, your mum, a Ravenclaw, but know that however you’re sorted, you have permission to strike out on your own brave path, finding that mix of qualities which make you who you are.

You might have thought I would give you advice about good study habits or the best quill to use for tests (eagle, for the record), but remember: books! Cleverness! There are more important things– friendship and bravery. Choose the people you surround yourself with wisely– friends who will remind you where the trick steps are and will distract Ms. Norris when you’re caught out of bed. Chances are you’re going to get into quite a few scrapes with them in the future and you don’t want to be stuck with the ones who trick you into eating the bogey flavored Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans.

As for bravery, stand up for your beliefs even when no one else will stand with you. Whether for the mistreatment of house elves (I’ll send you a S.P.E.W. button by owl!) or regulations for the thickness of cauldron bottoms, don’t give up! Your bravery will soon attract others.

I do hope you will find my advice to be helpful in the coming years. Good luck in all your endeavors and remember: when in doubt, go to the library!

Yours truly,

Hermione Granger

And So it Begins…

I feel like the first post of a brand new blog has to arrive with some sort of fanfare. Maybe a few fireworks, a choreographed youtube dance, or just an inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man. It always feels so…. daunting. Which is why I’ve probably been putting this off for so long.

First, a little bit about myself.

I was that kid who only got in trouble at school for one thing- drugs. Just kidding (I actually won the D.A.R.E. essay contest in 5th grade. I know, pretty fabulous). No, I got in trouble for something much more alarming: reading during math class.

I was such a rebel.

I read during lunch, walking to class, on the playground, under my desk, and every time I had even a nanosecond between finishing an assignment and when the teacher handed me another. Yeah, I was that kid.

I was the sole cause of the “you must be moving/exercising at all times during recess” rule, because I would hide in the hot plastic slides with a book. Don’t worry though, I made a treaty with the teachers so I could walk the perimeter of the playground and read at the same time. I’ll never be able to thank them enough for the valuable skill of walking while reading without running into things.

That's me sitting at the top, immersed in my favorite pastime. And that would be my best friend below. We really haven't changed much.

That’s me at the top, immersed in my favorite pastime (rockin’ that turtleneck). And that would be my best friend below. We really haven’t changed much.

But reading was only half of my passion, though it probably consumed the most time. The other half involved daydreaming. And when I put those daydreams on paper, I got to call them stories. The books I devoured were kindling to my imagination. I wanted stories, and I wanted my own stories.

The first time I stood in front of my class and read aloud from something I wrote, something purely from my own head, and watched as my classmates grew still and their eyes grew wide, and even that kid who was always in trouble hung on my every word, I knew.

I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to weave words that would captivate an audience, leave them breathless, give them something to hope for. I wanted to get lost in lands that existed only in my head and then invite people to join me.

It may have taken four years of college with the wrong degree (because a degree in writing isn’t “safe”), and letting myself believe the teachers who said I would be an author, but I’m here.

I’m in the last stages of writing my first full length novel with plans to publish this fall. Finally, I’m where I belong, getting serious about my writing, becoming the author I always knew I was.

This is my story.

An end of year note from my First Grade teacher.

An end of year note from my First Grade teacher.