Saturday, June 27, 2009

Where do Ideas come from?

Where do Ideas come from?

For me, my ideas usually come in the form of a title.

My first book, Putting the World to Sleep began as simply a phrase. A phrase I played with over and over again in my writing book until it felt done. Good Night, Good Knight was also just a a title first, before the story eventually revealed itself. (Yeah, I know, the first books dealt with trying to get to sleep....a huge issue in my life at the time, as a mommy of preschoolers).


Time goes so fast.

Still, sometimes, a title will come, begging to be written. But now, often, an Idea comes in the form of a premise. Like, for example, a tantrum that is contagious or a dungeon that exists under a school. I have a premise, but no title or characters. The title and characters come only after lots of failed attempts.....lots of tinkering......lots of playing around in the writing book. But there is already a center, an essence of the book........

Occasionally, I'll get an idea in the form of a character. This is the hardest for me. The character just kind of shows up in the old imagination (or on a page of the writing book) but it takes a lot of effort to extract the story from him or her. An example of this is one of my current projects, Chicken Wizard. Okay, so, it's a chicken that is a cool is that? Well, it would be cool if he would tell me his story!! But instead, he just lies flatly on the page, doing nothing but looking dapper in his yellow feathers and wizard had......I think he has a wand, too. And there's an egg of destiny he has to do something with.....but right now, he is not feeling very divulging. He is sitting there with his beak closed tight.

Wish I had a wand.....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Great Thing About Writing Groups

The great thing about writing groups is that, for the most part, really great people are in them! I am lucky enough to have a writing group that I meet with regularly. Even when I don't have much to share, it feels good to be in the presence of other writers and talk shop. (Like yesterday, I didn't have much to share because I'm a dork about when I allow myself to share something.....if it's too new I can't share it because, well, it's too new. Also because I'm psychic and know what the people in my group think about what I write even if they don't say, so if I am not ready to know, I just can't read.)

Anyway, the act of writing is a solo act for me. And it's not that I get lonely or anything, but being part of a small community of writers makes me feel connected to the greater world. Sometimes, the siren call of hermitude is strong. I like to hibernate in my little cave with my laptop and would probably stay there far longer than is healthy were it not for the folks who make me want to come out and play.

Thank you, writing group!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Last Day of School

It is the last day of school here......such mixed emotions. I have been waiting for this day for so long, (like most teachers) but it is very bittersweet. The fifth graders will get promoted to sixth graders......and go off to live their own lives........(sob), little birds, fly! I am such a sap. I will have to walk into the auditorium and think this time I will not cry. But I probably will. See, I have taught these kids since they were kindy-gartners. I have been in their classrooms once a week since their first few moments of school and now, they are ready to meet the world beyond the fence of our playground. Which is great. Really.

And yet......

I will miss them. I am happy for them, but sad for me. These kids are, well, they are just great kids. Really great. The kind of kids who make a difference, the kind of kids who make change happen.

I am honored to have been their teacher (well, one of their teachers) for the past six years.


Got to go put more tissues in my royal robe.