A middle grade fiction mind is a mind that can either create good ideas, or pick up bad ideas about who you want to be in life.  It’s not enough to have a great idea, you have to find a way to UNLEASH that gift onto the world.

Imagine if we live our lives from a place where we all begin to share our gifts with the rest of the world?  Imagine living a life that is filled with so much adventure, we can’t wait to begin each new day.

When I get to document how I feel about life and then share it with fans of Saltwater Taffy, affectionately referred to Taffy Heads, I feel as if I’m lifting off.  It reminds me there is something truly amazing about being a Middle Grade Fiction author during the rapidly changing landscape of education and esteem.  Have you noticed how many people around the world are not only wanting a better life, they are demanding it.   While touring in support of Saltwater Taffy, I have met some amazing…

… kids who are filled with amazing dreams of tomorrow.  I have also met some kids who aren’t able to believe in themselves and that kills me, but…it shows me I am in the right place at the right time….right NOW.

Have you ever noticed a moment in life where you feel really excited about who you are? You know those times where you feel so connected, filled with direction, driven by an overwhelmingly sense of self-assuredness, that you feel like you can do anything in life?  These moments are merely a snapshot into the truth about who you are!


Unfortunately for most kids, and adults too, thoughts of excellence can be fleeting, which just means they leave as fast as they arrive.  A middle grade fiction mind is like being at a lake house during the summer, walking barefoot across a freshly cut-lawn.  One step and it’s like you can almost hear how warm the sun is.  Two steps as you notices the lake, gently lapping against the rocky shore.  Three steps and the smell of a neighbors afternoon barbecue wafts into the air.  Four steps and WHAM…you kick a sprinkler.  That’s a fleeting moment.  When the above happens in your mind, the sprinkler is a thought that pulls us back into the muck and mire of a muddy life.  Have you ever tried to run in the mud?  When you THINK in the mud, you get more than muddy shoes.  You get a muddy POTENTIAL.

The sooner we can rid our daily thoughts that make us kick a sprinkler with bare feet (‘I’m not good enough’), the sooner we can FOCUS on the life we dream about living.  I say stop dreaming about greatness and start UNLEASHING ADVENTURE!!!


Growing up can be a confusing place and that’s okay.  But when you practice feeling good about who you are, moment by moment, your thoughts become your reality.  In the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we remind kids to BE GREAT.  Sounds kind of cliche’ and touchy-feely, but that’s how it starts.  Reminding yourself that you are great.  YOU…ME…WE ARE ALL AMAZING GIFTS to the world around us.  We just have to practice having more thoughts that remind us how great we are.

When we practice thoughts like this, we begin to change the world we live in.  Never believe a thought that tricks you into thinking that you are “less than” or “no good.”  Wave it off and say:


Go ahead.  You know you want to say SAAAAWEET outloud, so do it.

Eric “Uncle E” DelaBarre is an award winning filmmaker and the author of the adventure novel Saltwater Taffy.  Copyright February 25, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

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