I guess you have noticed I haven’t written a lot lately. It is because I am reading. My topic? The Holocaust. Tough stuff. Two of my kids have been assigned books written from inside concentration camps. It is of interest to me because I a writing a children’s book about it right now. I know I know….not quite a children’s topic. To me, putting a hard topic, rich with deep meaning, into a story simple enough for children is part of the challenge. I am wrestling over this partially written manuscript…thinking I may be onto my first middle school novel rather than a picture book. How to simplify it enough is the problem, how to write gently while still covering the facts…it is my current mental activity. I wrote my first scene before the assigned books of my children showed up at my house. I thought maybe reading them would give me some more insight. I was right. However, not much of what I am reading is suitable for children. I am not one to shy away from a tough topic so I will keep hammering it out.
I feel compelled to write this story even though it has little market value and most likely would not be something a publisher would jump to publish. Yet I feel as though it needs to be written, so I will write it. Where it goes from there is not my issue.
There is a quote from the book Night by Elie Wiesel that is sinking into my brain. (That is the book that William is reading for school) The quote says “Books no longer have the power they once did. Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.” Those two lines are powerful when considering the topic of which he is writing. Of course, “those that kept silent” are the ones that did not speak against the atrocities, but in my world I am the one that keeps silent. Not in the same way the author refers too, but even today in my own life I feel the command of those words. Subjects for my writing are not nearly as poignant but still there are words to be written. The question is will I remain silent? Will I hold my words in or share them? My testimony may not capture the world’s interest but it is important none the less. The stories I write are for entertainment and to inspire deep thought at the same time. The balance of the two is tricky and I am just learning. I committed in January to step into my writing. Now I am trying to carry that out.