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I’m Marie Elena. A funny thing happened to me on my quest to become a children’s writer. I unearthed a new passion: reading and writing poetry. It began with an internet post, declaring April as “Poetry Month,” and including an invitation to write and post poems to daily prompts. Write and post a poem each and every day. The entire month. Who does that? I shook in my shoes as, on April Fool’s Day (appropriately, I thought) I wrote and posted a poem for the first prompt. To say that I was intimidated by the amount and quality of poems posted that day is a gross understatement. This was not only outside my comfort zone, but way out of my league.
Several days into April, I read an endearing poem written by a proud Polish gentleman. To me, this stood tall among the outstanding. I went back to read his earlier posts, and I was hooked. From that moment, I daily searched for his name. I stuffed my heart with his laughter, wordplay, love, and loss. I let him know that he had become a must-read for me. His offerings never let me down. Several more days into the challenge, I discovered a post in which he praised my work. I couldn’t wait to share his encouraging words with my husband. What a thrill it was for me to receive affirmation from not only my own husband and parents, but from a truly gifted poet. It put me on a high, from which I haven’t wavered.
To flip Walt’s words, his encouragement helped to form a bond that continues to this day. And, hey, while I’m stealing his words, let me also say that he is “the best friend I never met.” Thanks for helping me believe, Walt.