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Given a choice, I’ll hang out with kids over adults. Sad? Slightly weird? Maybe. Possibly I’m crazy … crazy like a fox.

Recently, I accompanied my daughter’s Girl Scout troop on an over night camp-out. In a cozy cabin, we made banana boats and s’mores, bracelets, learned how to make knots, went on a hike in the snow, and giggled, laughed, and had general insanity only 5th had 6th grade girls can have.

I had a marvelous time!

Kids’ minds are uncharted territory … full of all kinds of undiscovered treasure. For YA, MG, and children’s book authors that place is full of inspiration. I love what filters out through their mouths, giving hints at the genius within.

During our over night adventure, I had the pleasure of interacting with these girls. Someone remembered that I write books … beginning the line of questions.

“What are your books about?”

“How many books have you written?”

“Will you write a book about me?”

“Where can I buy your books?”

“Will you write a book about a magic cupcake … or a witch, but a good witch not a bad one … or a land of unicorns and rainbows?”

“What are fairies like?”

So I told them about my books, about my characters, about the worlds I have created. I explained that they can’t buy my books, because no one has published them yet. Of course, they assured me that they would read my books, and I should just explain that to the publishers. Well, you gotta love them. My heart swelled as again and again, I had to give details about all the stories.

We talked. We laughed. We were just plain silly. We explored the wintery world, sliding down a hill on our butts, marveling at the ice formations, and all the while discussing fairies and their glamor. I shared all my beliefs, in the end telling them that in the world of magic anything is possible and they could have their own ideas.

By the end, we hunted for fairy houses … or haunts as I call them. They created a home for the winged creatures in the snow and brought me outside later to see all the signs that fairies had been there. They hadn’t put that leaf in the house. They hadn’t made that hole. And look at the bits of snow that hadn’t been there before. Fairies? Maybe. Anything is possible. And believing is the magic.

Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real. One of my deepest wishes is to see a fairy, to witness something paranormal. And with these girls, maybe I did. Will I ever know for sure? Nope, but I can continue to believe. Just like my pre-teen friends.

For they are why I write. Their hopes and dreams are alive, still growing and developing. Their minds wide open to all the possibilities. Childhood is magic. I hope to add to the magic with my words. I hope to give them more dreams, more ideas to grow in their minds. And I hope as they grow up that they never forget the magic of childhood.

So my dearest Girl Scout troop …

Thank you.

For your brightness, your smiles, your laughter, your insanity …

Thank you.

For your craziness, your belief in the impossible, your love …

Thanks.

For beaded bracelets and necklaces, for the ring made of rubber bands, and for the mini clay me …

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Picture taken by our fearless leader!

Ella, Sierra, Jesalyn, Kaylee, Hannah, Ashley, Kelley, Cassidy, Sam, Cassie, Linda, and Mae … you are my inspiration, my muses. You make me smile.

Thanks for making the world a better place by just being you. I hope all your dreams come true.

Thanks to everyone out in the world who supports Girl Scouts with time or money, or by buying a box of cookies. Without you we’d never have marvelous experiences to remember forever.

Who inspires you?

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