A story of what happens when you tell people you’re a writer before you’ve actually published anything…

Once, when it was career day at the elementary school, Mr. H and I were invited in to talk about our jobs. I went first and talked about my love of reading and the process of writing and editing. And then I asked the children if they had questions.

“Did you write Harry Potter?”


“Did you write The Cat in the Hat?”

“No.” This was only funny maybe the first or second time and then it wore off.

Finally the teacher stepped in to help – “Mrs. Henderson, tell us what books you did write.”

Too embarrassed to tell the truth, that there was no book to buy, I answered cryptically, “They’re not really for children.” This forever after branded me as an assumed writer of erotica.

Then Mr. Henderson entered the classroom to discuss costuming actors for plays. He used my son as an example of an actor – creating fake bruises and cuts on him to look like he’d been in a fight.

He was supposed to wash off the make-up but he went home on the bus all beat up. I asked him, “So, how do you think it went today?”

“Great,” he said, “Everyone in my class wants to be a costume designer.”

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SUSAN HENDERSON is the author of UP FROM THE BLUE (HarperCollins, 2010) and founder of the blog, LitPark, a literary playground for writers.

4 responses to “Career Day”

  1. Liane says:

    THis is an absolutely funny this story . But one can see how realistic kids are. They just want to “see” things before they make a descision , and maybe Susan one day you will come up with a childrenĀ“s book.

  2. Zara Potts says:

    Ha! Love it!
    And those wounds….! No wonder the kids wanted to be costume designers, I think I would have too!

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