"selectively mute". For reasons unknown, the second grader decided she
could not or would not speak at school. She will laugh, frown, shrug or
shake her head but refuses to utter a word. It may be a self-protective
maneuver or intense shyness indicator. Whatever the reason, I encourage my
daughter to help her student write. Sometimes the written word is the best
way to find your voice. It was for me.
I grew up in the cornfields of Iowa in a community so tiny that it
rarely made the maps. We lived in a century old house that Mom and Dad
filled with ten children and lots of memories.
Most of the time, I was quiet and removed from
the family. I liked to sit behind the bedroom dresser drawers and write. It
was there that my father found me one day. He smiled and
exclaimed, "All the great writers find a quiet spot. Your story
will find an audience."
My middle school teacher offered to submit my 70 page story.
My mother painstakingly typed every word.
The story was submitted and rejected but came with a two page atta boy. I was
overjoyed. I had a voice.
My teacher and parents recognized my passion and supported the need
to write. Now my teacher daughter will guide her mute student to find her voice.
And many others, too.
Award winning author Diana M. Amadeo sports a bit of pride in having 550 publications with her byline in books, anthologies, magazines and newspapers. Yet, she humbly, persistently, tweaks and rewrites her thousand or so rejections with eternal hope that they may yet see the light of day.