I began a challenging adventure years ago, before I had children. Applying for, and being accepted for a writing course through “Institute for Children’s Literature” was so very exciting for me. I had dreamed of seriously writing books since I was in high school. A few of my friends and I commandeered a table in high school Study Hall where we shared our writings, stories, poems, and songs as we wrote them. A couple of us “rode West on our steeds,” one wrote pieces of beauty, while one of us “went to other worlds” she created from her imagination. Cheering one another on, our courage grew stronger, and our dreams and plans seemed more real. The possibilities seemed limitless.
By the time we finished high school, one of us was getting married, another moved several states away, one would be attending Vo-Tech in drafting, and I was enrolled in Louisiana Tech University in Floral Design. Though none of us seriously chased our writing dreams any further than the door to the school building, I never could really put it down. Writing was too much a part of me. I dabbled in writing all through that freshman year of college, and then wrote about the man I fell in love with and married. This writing course seemed like just the right thing to give me a boost for a career in writing.
I loved trying to live up to the challenge of each assignment. Some of them were harder for me than others. Something I learned in the course was that conflict is an important ingredient for most any story. One assignment was particularly fun for me to create. I wrote it about a night time walk that two friends took with the father of one of them, and the night sights and sounds. When I finally finished it, I loved it and felt good sending it in for critique. I got some great comments, but my instructor pointed out that there was no conflict in the story.
I read it again, and saw what she meant. There was no conflict at all. Adventure was there, along with creative imagination, but no conflict. I thought about that the next few days, and remembered some favorite books I’d read to my children. Some had conflict, and some did not. I came to a decision that a lot of the time conflict of some kind will draw attention and imagination, and top it off with excitement. What I like to call “feel good” books create a relaxing environment, peacefulness, and imagination all their own, but in a different way.
All this being said, I love those exciting books, but at bed time I would rather read something warm, cozy, and peaceful to help me wind down and go to sleep. I think there is place for both styles of children’s stories. So I am starting a project that will take some time, but I believe it will be well worth it. I’m going to write a series of children’s “feel good” short books that can be read near bed time helping them relax. I’m excited about this project, and will continue to follow God on this. I don’t want to go out on a limb by myself on this, but I know that if God is in it, there is a place for these books.
I begin this week with a new song in my heart, and a new plan; not laying my other projects down, but working this out as God leads me. Here’s hoping you start out the week with a song in your heart also, and a plan for direction that is God led.
Have a blessed week, friends.