I just remembered something else about this weekend.
A while back, Chantale bought James a french YA novel to read in order to help him with his French reading/ comprehension skills. We thought he would get a kick out of it as (besides being recommended by his librarian) it seemed to be of a topic he enjoys.
Turns out, that getting him to weed the lawn is easier than getting him to read that book.
This weekend, we finally put the order down that regardless of how “bad” and “lame” he thought the book was, he was going to read 10 chapters. (he’s owned it for months and had only finished 1 chapter up to that point!). He grudgingly accepted but never missed a chance to share just how bad the story was or how stupid the characters were. We had various comebacks like (a- get used to it, you don’t always get to read books you like in school. b- keep complaining and you’ll have to write me a book report… and it’ll be marked by your librarian! etc, etc). He was even complaining that the mythical creatures in the book didn’t act like they “should” (for example, Gorgons with snakes that bite themselves… and then each blood droplet becomes another Gorgon!).
Finally, on Sunday morning, I told him straight out: “James, here’s what I want you to do when you’re finished the book: Write a better one!” He commented that he couldn’t write those characters because he’s not allowed to, etc. I told him to just go ahead and write a better book, using whatever characters he wants, make it whatever he wants it to be. I then told him that I would edit the book for him (for grammar, etc) and would gladly publish it for him!
After a beat, he asked if it would be for sale at book stores and I told him that if he wanted me to make them be sold in bookstores, I would. Heck, I would hire someone to draw a cover for the book, too! After another beat he asked if he would make money from the book. I told him that if he sold enough copies, yes, he would make money.
He “hmmmed” a bit and then walked away.
I laughed to myself and thought, “how much would I be willing to spend to have my son write a novel?” I realized the question had no answer because if he would actually do it, I would PoD it for him and make it available. And, strangely enough, I suddenly thought of how great the idea of PoD is in regards to seeing a special spark in a child’s (okay, pre-teen’s) eye. As much as I’ve encouraged him to let out his artistic side (in the past it’s been mainly in drawing), he’s not really the type yet to take on a challenge like this. But, if even a small seed has been planted…
…then, I’ve done my job 🙂