Two Great Teachers
I’m sending my love out to a teacher and one author who’ve definitely shaped me to be the teacher/writer I am today. Each in their own way pushed me and encouraged me with my love of the written word.
The first is my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Fryer, whose response to my goal of becoming a lawyer said, “You’re a talented writer, K. Imani, maybe you should think about pursuing that.” The idea to be a writer was planted and I never looked back. She also allowed me to share my geeky love of books when she allowed me to lead class discussions on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry after I gushed to her about how much I loved the book. Reflecting on that experience, I realize she allowed me know what it was like to be a teacher which I kept buried in my heart until I was ready to share my love of literature to another generation.
A few months ago I finally read Stephen King’s On Writing and it changed my life. When I read his craft memoir, I was at a low place in the writing in my novel and was feeling like I should just give up. His words, his encouragement to keep trying no matter what, spoke to me and reignited the spark of my novel. Since that time, I’ve been on a lovely writing spree, cranking out short stories and attacking the revision process with vigor. I know that next time I’m feeling low, I’ll break out On Writing for inspiration and a good kick in the pants.
—K. Imani Tennyson