Funke inspiration

While the woman now on the stage had a magnetism that had drawn our eyes to her even when she had been over in the shadowy corner, I was, to be honest, a little nervous.

img_8730After all, I had take half of a personal day and pulled my children out of school for this. And not every author is a great speaker. But the kids had begged. “Please,” said Eric, turning his big brown eyes on me, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” His brother, more self-possessed, simply added, “I really really want to go.” 

So I had bought tickets to see Cornelia Funke, author of the Dragon Rider and Inkheart series (among others), in the middle of the day on a Monday.

I need not have worried. Cornelia Funke was, frankly, amazing. Relaxed and funny, she filled the room, putting the young moderator at ease, telling us stories, opening her writer’s notebook for the next Dragonrider book to let us see her sketches, her playfulness. I thought Eric might fall out of his seat with excitement when she opened the notebook to show us a giant jellyfish she had drawn. Thomas craned his neck to see what else she had taped into those exciting pages. And then she read to us. Her hands moved, her eyes twinkled, her eyebrows raised and “she even did the voices!”


The room was full of mostly adults and some teenagers, but Funke was keenly aware of my two boys and one other little girl, all seated in the front row. The little girl asked the first question during the Q & A and Funke complimented her, “What a great question! No one has ever asked me that before.” Afterwards, when we talked to her as she signed books, my boys were a little shy, but they warmed up enough to tell her about the sand sculptures they built during our winter vacation – sculptures of the characters from The Griffin’s Feather. They made me show her on my phone. Delighted, she gave them an email address and told them to send them to her so she could put them on the website.

As we left, Thomas said, “I’m so glad we went. She was… inspiring. It’s like I want to draw and write more just from listening to her.” Me too, as it turns out. Me too.



9 thoughts on “Funke inspiration

  1. Oh, what a delightful slice! Nothing’s better than sitting at the feet of an author they love and one who inspires them is the icing on the cake.


  2. What a wonderful, fulfilling day on so many levels! I congratulate you on taking a personal day and taking your boys out of school. Did you know that the Wright brothers’ father allowed them to skip school to read a book or to work on a project? (They did project-based learning before it was named such.) So, your boys are in good company to miss school for such an inspiring time. Did you share the sand sculptures in a blog post and I missed it?


  3. This post just makes me feel happy on so many levels. Happy that your kids begged you to go, that you took the day, that Cornelia Funke was sooo worth the effort, that your kids build literary-inspired sand structures, and that you wrote about it all here. Thanks so much for starting my day off so beautifully!


  4. Sounds like you make the right decision. Unlikely that Thomas would have discovered the same kind of inspiration in school that day. Very sorry to have missed it!


  5. It is amazing how inspiring others people’s experience can be. Amanda, I imagine Many of your students feel the same way about you!


  6. Reading your story filled me with joy. I love seeing kids get excited about meeting their favorite authors. They’ll treasure this experience for a very long time. 🙂


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