When my kids were tiny, they found one book that they adored, and we had to read it over and over for months, the repetition getting to the point that they could “read” it to us from memory. “By the big red barn, in the great green field…”
Then my older two decided mom couldn’t keep the pace they wanted when it came to their digestion of paperbacks and they started reading on their own. The books got harder and the story lines got more complex. The characters became not cartoons but more lifelike, and they faced things that actually had or could happen in real life. Not that an evil sorcerer takes over the world on a daily basis, or the mermaid happens to jump into our boat on our vacation. The characters faced things that are common in life. Things that are hard or exciting or horrifying or scary, exhilarating. And my kids had opinions about what they’d read. We could discuss it; we could reason through it; there were things to be pondered and measured.
And I found myself back in a literature classroom more years ago than I care to count, pulling apart and analyzing sentence structure and usage of adverbs and personification. All those things that come together to build a story that draws you to it, sucks you in. I found that small nugget of inspiration and desire that had been planted. It had been watered with years of experience and life, and was suddenly getting such large doses of sunshine from the excitement and thrill my children were finding in these stories, that it had to grow.
I’ve always wanted to write a book. I never knew what to write about, never knew where to start. Years ago I started a pseudo-biography based on a few events in my life, fictionalized and enhanced to get a story. It’s almost done. I don’t know if anyone will ever read it. That wasn’t the point. I wrote it for me.
Then in a book discussion with my kids, this one idea stuck. Then I read a single sentence in a book. It heralded the same basic topic. It mulled and rolled around in my head, and I couldn’t shake it. So I asked my little people for help, and they sat and brainstormed and threw all sorts of ideas. And some of them were pretty good. Several of them, in fact, have found a way onto the pages of the story I’ve finally decided I can write. I didn’t know that the thing I needed most, in addition to a topic, was an audience.
You see, I found I have someone to write for, to write to, someone specific I want to inspire with my own story. One that they have a little part in helping to create.