As letters and e-mails continue to come in, I am amazed at how many young people are finding help and solace in the Dragons in our Midst books. Sometimes I just want to shout with joy! This is exactly what I got into writing for.
Recently, however, the responsibility of the author's chair has caused me to tremble. In the past week I have heard from three young readers whose parents are splitting up and a pre-teen who is suffering from abuse of the most despicable kind.
It was easy to write and hope my words encourage, challenge, and heal, but when reader feedback bleeds with cries for help, I can no longer sit back with my wireless keyboard, stare at my large, flat-panel monitor, and create my fantasy worlds.
The sting of hot, salty tears jerks me out of dragon daydreams and demands that I put on a warrior's armor. Trusting souls plead for rescue, and I cannot sit back and pretend that words alone will mend these dying hearts.
I will stand and draw my sword, though I know not where to charge.
God help me.