Being on facebook is an interesting thing. I find myself in touch with people from my childhood in a friendly, informal way that's hard to imagine otherwise. Since I write about children, many of these people play a large role in my brainstorming and memory mining. Each time a new friend from my elementary school days appears, I think of the incident with him or her and the story it inspired. I'm torn. Do I tell people this? Or is it some kind of strange invasion to know someone's using old experiences with you from school or childhood to weave stories? Hmmmm....
It is my second NaNoWriMo day, and I've decided to change the name--just for myself. It will now and furthermore be known as NaNoWriNO on my site. This month I will practice saying NO in order to have more time to write and also in the hopes that 30 days of saying no might help me in other ways. Anyway, I wrote this morning, only 1000 words or so, so I'll be revisiting it momentarily.
EVERYONE has been asking what I'm writing, so I'll share it with you THIS ONE TIME because who the heck knows what it will end up being in 30 days. I began a novel a couple of years ago (mg novel) . It was not going the way I wanted it to, so I scrapped it all--well, almost all of it. I saved one little scene, and that's the inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel. Here's the original scene, just to give you a little taste. I will probably use pieces of this scene, but the characters definitely LIVE. Hope you enjoy:
You need to know this about me. While others kids have moms who turned to pediatricians and psychologists for child-rearing advice, my mom used Curious George, Ramona, and the Mallard family. As a children’s librarian, my mom is big into bibliotherapy, which means stuff in books can help you with real problems.
Like when I was 3 and kept dialing odd numbers on the phone. Mom read me the book where Curious George calls the fire department by accident, and they throw him in jail. That scared me pretty good.
But when my dog died and Mom brought home Sounder. Well, that just made me feel worse. Now that I’m eleven, I’m very careful about the problems I share with her. She’s already got a shelf of growing up books in her desk drawer where she thinks I don’t look. If we have to read these books together, I’ll just die.
Anyway, I have to tell you about my dad, so you’ll understand my big problem, because with a normal dad, it wouldn’t be a problem at all.
Dad smokes a pipe and teaches in the classics department at the university. He’s really into being an intellectual. See, his brother runs a skate park, yes a skate park, in Florida, so Dad feels a little extra responsibility to achieve for the both of them. Mom says he needs to get over his sibling rivalry issues like Peter had in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Whatever.
Dad came home late tonight because he was busy organizing a protest march against the amount of university money spent on athletics. Enter my problem.
I’m in the 6th grade which just moved to the middle school, so they’re trying to get a 6th grade athletics program going. Anyway, next week they’re having a cheerleading sign-up, and I plan to be there. My parents, who I’ve never seen run or jump or raise their voices, would rather I held up a bank than be a cheerleader, but I am not without a plan.
Tonight all I have to do is fill out the permission slip and get it signed. Without anyone reading it.
Rarely do I wish for brothers and sisters, but a noisy diversion would really help out tonight. However, since I’m the one and only, it’s up to me to hatch this plan.
So I get out Mom’s cello and uncover the keyboard of the piano. They won’t be able to resist.
“Mom? Dad? For homework I have to write a response to a piece of classical music. Most of the poor kids will have to play a CD or something. Would you guys mind playing a bit for me?” Dad’s face came to life.
“Would we mind? Why, that’s a marvelous assignment. Quite creative. Remind me to write a note to your teacher commending such a task.” Remind me to destroy such a note. He took my mother’s arm and led her to the living room. “Dorothy, shall we?”
My mother giggled and began tuning her instrument. “It’s been far too long,“ she said and squeezed my father’s hand.
As they began to play, the soothing timbre of the music should have calmed me down, but not tonight. I bounced on the old sofa springs as I pretended to write. I had to get those signatures.
“Relax and feel it, Josephine. Use all your senses.” Oh, Dad. Please. But as I wrote in my journal, I slowly slid out the permission slips. One form authorized a physical and one acknowledged the dangers of any sport.
As Mom zummed the final note, I popped up and whispered, so as not to break the mood. “Before I forget, I need both of you to sign that I actually listened to the music, but will you please play another one right away? I’m feeling very creative, and I’d like to write some more while I’m in the groove.”
As I predicted, they signed the forms quickly and without a glance. Seems to me I’m the genius here. I couldn’t help but do a little victory dance.
“Your writing, Josephine?” My father reminded me. Oh, yes.
“I nearly forgot. I was so caught up in the music.” I said earnestly and turned to a new page in my journal. In reality, I couldn’t think of a thing to write at all. So all I wrote was Pax Nobiscum Pax Nobiscum Pax Nobiscum. It was nearly dinner, and Dad would quiz me on the Latin phrase of the day.
Have a great day! All you writerly readers, please share some of what YOU'RE writing, as well! xoxox
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.