Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Writer and the Reader

I started writing a children's book today.  

I didn't meant to.  It was a spur of the moment kind of a thing.

 (That's how I operate!) 

Kyla (age 7) is an avid reader.  She gets genuine pleasure from a 'good' book.  I watch her while she's reading;  she smiles, she scrunches up her nose in confusion, she laughs out loud, and at the end- she lets out a sweet sigh, as if she's saying "Ahhhh.  That hit the spot!" 

Inside my little-black-composition book, I began writing a rough draft.  I asked the girls what they'd like to read about if they could pick a special book to read.

Kyla said: "I'd want it to be about the Jungle, and the zoo, and lots and LOTS of dogs."
Zoe said: "I want there to be a girl named Maya, and she can have a big sister named Zoe....."

This stemmed a huge argument between the two of them- "No! Zoe!!  You can't have your name in it- that won't be fair.  If your name is in it, I want ZOE to have a big sister named KYLA, and she'll be 16, and you can be 8......"  On and on and on the discussions went; until they forgot what they were arguing about and resumed swinging on their swing set.  

Eventually, Zoe wandered over to the trampoline with Leah- and Kyla asked permission to get her "dog training" book from her room so that she could "Start training Schneider to do tricks and stuff."

And my pencil? It grew wings!!!  I was inspired.  I wrote out several pages in the midst of Kyla's bossing training her dog, and Zoe's training teaching of her baby sister to take part in the death-defying act of walking around the trampoline ledge.  

After the girls grew bored of their dog and baby training, we meandered on into the front yard.  I was sitting on a lounge chair, in between both the front and the back of the yard- making it possible for me to be "two places at once", and Kyla strolled over to the back of my seat- so that she could read over my shoulder.

(Pause.... Confession time:   I ab-so-lute-ly can NOT stand having somebody read over my shoulder as I'm writing.  Who knows why, but I come to a complete STOP when it happens.  I can't focus- I'm too aware of the person standing behind me..... etc. etc. etc.....)

I finish the sentence I was working on (surprisingly) and I smile up at my curious little-grown-up- brown eyed -girl, "Do you want to read what I've written so far?"  (Dumb question!)

Kyla smiles, her eyes get HUGE with excitement, and she (all but) snatches the notebook out of my hand.  Her eyes are glued to the pages before she even sits down.  I watch her, and something inside me gets fulfilled as her eyes dart back and forth down each paragraph.  She is smiling, and she's thinking, she giggles, she looks up at me and makes a small correction about one of the details in the story-  and on the last page, she may as well have scooted her rear to the edge of her seat- because everything in her said "I want MORE!"

My precious daughter looks up at me and says "Wow, Mommy!  That's a really good story so far.  You wrote ALL of those pages in just a little bit of time.  It would have taken me FOR-EVER!"

She doesn't know it yet- but.... her encouragement, and obvious pleasure in what I've written is more motivation to pursue this crazy dream of mine {to be a writer} than any I've ever had before.  She was IMPRESSED that her Mommy was writing a book.  She seemed proud.  Is that goofy?  I'm happy that my daughter seems proud of me?  

This book that I'm writing- it'll be effortless (eh? to a degree).
It's primary subject is something that I know well, it's something I dearly and truly love with all of my ENTIRE heart!  

I'm writing it on paper- with a #2 pencil.  The kind you have to sharpen, and the kind that requires a cap-on- replaceable eraser.  It'll be inside in a little-black wide ruled composition book- available for my editor daughter to read whenever she wants!  And it'll be the FIRST of many, many more to come.  Whether they are here for our very own personal bookshelves, or whether they make it onto thousands of other bookshelves- it won't matter....

I've had many friends and family members suggest that I "Write a Book" one day.  It's humbling to hear it suggested- because, though I LOVE to write, I don't necessarily see myself as all together talented.  I write without thinking (almost).  It just flows out of me.  Don't writers have to be 'trained professionals?'

The question that I've asked when the suggestion to 'write' has been made has always been the same:
"But? What would write about?"

I've overjoyed to have the answer to that question tucked away in my little-black-book tonight.  

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