If the eight-year-old version of me could see what I’m holding in my hands, she’d be cartwheeling around the house squealing at the top of her lungs. Heck, the adult version of me is having a tough time keeping those impulses in check.
Today seemed like any other day until I walked out to my mailbox and found a big white envelope with a return address from Highlights. I had a hunch about what was inside, and my heart kicked into high gear. I ripped open the envelope to find complimentary copies of the July 2011 issue, which just so happens to have a story written by me in its brightly colored pages. Squeeee!!
I loved, loved, loved Highlights growing up – the fun stories, the cool crafts, the hidden pictures, the hijinks of Goofus and Gallant. Even when I technically grew too old for it, my mom kept the subscription under the guise that it was for my younger brother and sister, even though they never really read it. I was a sad, sad panda on the day my mom decided all her kids were too old for Highlights and cancelled the subscription.
Even though I wasn’t consciously thinking about becoming a writer at that point, a part of me must have poured over the pages knowing that’s where my destiny would lead me. Two years ago I entered the 2009 Highlights Fiction Contest, and my story Seeking a Hidden Hive was picked as one of the winners. My awesome prize was that I got to attend the fantastic Chautauqua Writers Workshop for free, but even more exciting for me was that my story was going to be published in Highlights.
Highlights keeps so many stories on hand that it takes years after acceptance to be published, but since this is my first children’s publication, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this day. Now it’s finally here, and it feels AMAZING! The illustrator did a fabulous job on the drawings, bringing my characters to life. I got a little choked up when I saw my name listed among the pages of the magazine that was such a huge part of my childhood. I am so grateful to the editors at Highlights for picking my story and making one of my dreams come true.
So what writing milestones have transformed you into your eight-year-old self squealing with excitement?