The Junior One Story

Written by on July 27, 2013 in Learning to Breathe - 3 Comments

Earlier this month, I finally relented to my younger daughter’s constant pleading for me to come in and speak with her class and decided to talk about a topic that I’ve been struggling with for years: writing. Since as far back as I could remember, I’ve wanted to be a professional writer. The problem was that no matter how hard I tried, I never could actually finish writing a novel. I’ve started at least ten novels (if not closer to twenty). Writer’s block has never been my issue. My issue, rather, is the ability to finish anything that I’ve started. Unfortunately, my natural enthusiasm for life does not help in this circumstance, but rather gets very much in the way. Like most writers and artists, I produce the best work when I’m unhappy (which explains why one of the novels that I made the most progress on was written during the temperamental period of my former marriage). However, as I’m a hopeful and optimistic person by nature, I don’t allow myself to stay unhappy for very long. Instead, I move on quickly, always looking for the silver lining and the lesson in everything. I jump into life and let the beauty and feeling of it take me away from my problems.

It’s no secret: I love life. It hurts and disappoints me at times, like it does everyone else, and I’m still not quite the person that I’d like to be; but, overall, life is amazing. Though I consider myself a very empathic and empathetic person who tries to understand the worlds of others on a regular basis, I struggle to understand people who find life miserable and unhappy and who spend their days whining and moping rather than trying to do something about it. I also struggle to understand the people who actively choose to hide away from life or who prefer a kind of sleepwalking existence to actually living. Though, I must admit, that some of the best writers and the greatest artists are such people. Emily Dickinson, for example, was so afraid to leave her own home that she would leave her poetry (which by any critic is still considered brilliant) outside her door for someone else to find. There are other well known writers as well who have accomplished much through misery, and certainly there are plenty of artists who were known to be permanently unhappy (Van Gogh coming to mind immediately). Could this be the reason why I, myself, am so far away from greatness? Could my desire to embrace life and jump head first into so many adventures (and to actually live rather than wallow in misery) be why I am so far away from accomplishing my dream of becoming a great writer?

Well, if it is, then I hope that one day a story will come to me that is so full of life, passion, and adventure that it grabs me despite myself and forces me to write it every day without fail until it is finished. Then perhaps I will find a way to become the accomplished writer that I always dreamed. Until then, at least I have this blog. So, without further adieu, let me share with you the story that I wrote together with Junior One, or rather, the story that Junior One wrote together with a little bit of guidance for me. It’s by no means a masterpiece, but it is a pretty good story for a class of 4 and 5 year olds, especially considering the 10-15 minutes in which we wrote it.

 

Characters (all chosen completely by the children)

A talking lizard

A talking snake

A talking mouse

A little girl

A friendly boy

The story (written completely by the kids with just a bit of guidance and questions from me)

Once upon a time there was a talking snake, who was a very friendly snake. Rather than biting people, he wanted to be their friend.

One day, a friendly little girl was lost in the woods. She was very sad because she missed her mommy and daddy, and so she started to cry. But, she didn’t have to cry long because the friendly talking snake found her and started to talk to the little girl. A talking lizard also came to chat.

The girl had never before met a talking lizard or a talking snake, so she was a bit taken aback. But then a little boy came and said, “Don’t worry. They are very friendly and they don’t bite.”

Having watched all the fun of the group talking together, a talking mouse also came out with a big tray of cheese to share with the group. “Is anyone hungry?”

The little girl had been lost in the woods for a long time, so she was starving and she gobbled up all of the cheese. With the cheese, they also had a big feast of biscuits, carrots, cucumbers, and grapes. The little girl even shared some chocolate covered raisins that she had with her.

The animals sensed the way out of the woods by following their footprints and helped the girl out of the woods and to get home. And her mommy was very happy to see her again.

 

Not a bad start in their writing careers I think. No?

 

Stay tuned for next month’s entry about “learning from a break”. Not all relationships and friendships are meant to last forever. Sometimes, it’s about knowing when to call it quits, while also learning from the situation at hand without causing yourself too much undue pain.

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3 Comments on "The Junior One Story"

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