I spend a lot of time at my kids' school. The younger kids' school, that is. I don't spend any time at the high school my oldest goes to. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I read from House in the 6th grade class, and, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach creative writing as an elective in the middle school there (I have 14 students this quarter).
Earlier this week as I was walking across campus, a young boy, a 1st grader, ran up to me. Now, I knew who this boy was because he's the younger brother of one of my younger son's friends, so I thought it was going to be something related to that. I was kind of surprised when he said, "Are you the guy that made The House on the Corner?" And I wasn't sure what was going on, either, because he's a few years younger than any of the kids I've read to at this point. But I smiled and said yes. His face exploded in a grin, and he said, "I love your book! It's great!" Then, he turned around and ran off.
It was really sweet. I was touched.
And I love that question: am I the guy that made the book? Not wrote it. Made it. It's amusing to me, because, actually, that's how all the kids ask me that question when they ask it of me. "Are you the guy that made The House on the Corner?" I used to say, "Well, yes, I wrote it," but I don't do that anymore, because I don't think there's a significant difference to them. It would be like asking George Lucas if he wrote Star Wars. Well, yes, he did, but, really, he made Star Wars. And that's what it is to these kids. I made this world, for lack of a better term, called The House on the Corner.
It's funny, because I never think of it that way. I never think of it as a world building project, although I know that it is. It's just not in my head that way. It's not like my son building with his Legos or in Minecraft. I sit down and I write. Sure, I visualize and try to bring that environment to life, but I don't think about it as building a world. Clearly, that's what it is to these kids, though.
It's all kind of cool.
I really like that question, at this point. Yes, I made The House on the Corner.
My other favorite question, and I get this one from even the middle schoolers, is "When are you going to make House into a movie?"
I still have to hold in the laughter when they ask me that, but I love that they ask me. Like I just need to decide to do it, you know? After all, I did make the book, why can't I just make the movie the same way? I've been asked that question twice this week, in fact. I guess I'll have to get on that.