Yesterday, a group of eight local authors were guests at an elementary school here in Columbia, Missouri. I was one of the authors. We spoke to fourth grade students, answered their questions, and then listened to them read short passages from their own stories. We had a wonderful time. The kids were amazing and I’m sure the school has some future writers in the group.

It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm for writing in kids. It reminded me of my own kids. When I first began writing novels, both of my kids started writing, too. My son, who was a freshman in high school, wrote four or five chapters of a vampire novel. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have those. My daughter Samantha, who was in fifth grade at the time, wrote four chapters of a book about a young raccoon. I have those chapters and I would love to post one on my blog, but I’ll have to get her permission. In sixth and seventh grades, she wrote numerous poems and got two of them published in children’s magazines. Here are two of her poems, used with her permission. These poems fit the Fall season. I hope you enjoy them.


She wrote this one when she was 12 years old.

By Samantha Finlay

The wind whispers . . .
I can hear it,
Calling out to me,
Like music to my ears.
It carries messengers,
Thousands of tiny raindrops,
Each a spectacle of clear, fresh water.
The wind whispered…
It called out to me,
Loud enough for anyone to hear it,
But it was meant for me,
And only I heard it.

She wrote this when she was thirteen years old.

By Samantha Finlay

The wind moans with the howl of a wolf,
Lonely, and missing from its pack.

It rages and rambles, fumes with fury,
Like the horns of a bull, and the hooves of stampede.

The wind will pounce with the heart of lion,
And strike with the claws of a bear.

It floats on clouds, with its wings gently prodding the sky,
And its white feathers urging all into an endless drift.

Like a mourning dove, it takes to the sky with dawn,
And with the wings of a bat, it persists through the silver moon,
And swirls through starlight,
Then meets sun again.

And through the day and night the wind plays, sometimes rough and others calm,
And sometimes it invites its friend, the rain, to join its game.

The days and nights can be quiet, and the wind will know lamentation.
But the wind has a mind of its own, and carries the right of choice.

It slithers, like a snake, through the sky,
Searching for rain,
And then they fly.