Thursday, June 18, 2009

Duck Feathers

Ahhhh...a sense of accomplishment finally fills the hole anxiety has dug into my stomach these past few weeks. I've written, edited, rewritten and submitted a new children's story for a work-for-hire project. It was a lot of fun once I set my feet firmly under my writing desk and started honing in on the storyline. It was like laying next to my kids making up stories again to help them fall asleep.

Have you ever taken the time to make up your own bedtime stories? I used to think it was a bother some nights because I was so tired. I craved the quiet, alone time with my husband after a long day playing with my kids. But, now I long for all those snugly moments and long good nights. I think of all our bedtime stories and wonder if my kids will tell them to their children some day?

There was one story my son favored about a floating white duck feather. If he wanted me to tell this story I had one rule he had to follow: keep you eyes closed the whole peeking! Of course I'd start out with "Once upon a time..." and continue the story, pretending my hand was the floating white duck feather. At the right time in the story, when the feather was about to land, I'd gently let my fingers fall over his face, down his arms and over his hair. It really helped him to relax and soon he'd be fast asleep. I don't exactly remember the ending. I think it changed every time I told the story. That didn't matter, though. It was a relaxing story that got him to sleep every time.

Ideas for stories are found everywhere. I think I got the idea for the floating feather story from watching the movie "Forest Gump." Remember when Forest is waiting for his school bus? A white feather starts floating down from the sky and lands at his feet when he gets up to walk on the bus. I always thought, "Now there's a story in that feather, somewhere." So I made one up.

When I speak with older students about becoming an author I say, "Writing a book is like telling a story and everyone has a story to tell." I'm not sure how I came up with this quote; if it's mine or someone elses' idea, but I like it. Whenever I find myself with no ideas or writer's block begins to set in, I remember that story ideas are everywhere!

So, what story do you have to tell?

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