Two Sundays ago I woke up with a lovely idea in my head. I don’t know what inspired it, it was just simply there, fully formed and ready to go. So I’m finally getting to it and plan on making it happen.
I’ll be writing stories.
“Uh, okay, um” I can hear your polite response now, but there’s more to it and to explain it well I have to tell the back story:
When William and I lived on the “Perfect Little Farm” in Maryville, MO I was a story teller. William was working 2nd shift at Energizer which meant I had 4 little kiddos to put to bed every night on my own. We turned it into a rather elaborate affair. I would tuck the kids into bed and for the next hour, maybe two, I would tell them a story, a different story, each night.
Oh they were fun stories! The Inter-Galactic Space Rescue Heroes, the Crystal Dragons, the Adventures of Super Ephy and Snake Man, Garden Girl and the History Vortex. They all seemed to have similar characters, namely three brothers and their little sister, but we traveled the world and the galaxy from that little room in the crooked old farm house.
My children still love stories, they still love to be read to, and when I make up a story they still like to alter the course of events with a few well-timed interjections and laughter just like they used to. But life seems to be moving along at an ever increasing rate of speed and the time I have to spend on stories is waning to almost nothing. Which makes me very sad. I have always loved stories, the ones I read, the ones I imagine. Having no time for them is like saying goodbye to a friend.
I hadn’t thought of any of this for a long time until two Sundays ago when the lovely idea popped into my head in exactly this way:
“Why don’t you get 6 empty jars and label them Hero, Antagonist, Magical Object, Location, Time, and Moral of the Story? Then you could fill the jars with little slips of paper that list a noun, or date, and every Sunday night you can pull out one slip of paper from each jar. You can then take those 6 random nouns and craft a story for the coming Saturday night. It will be a challenge, fun, entertaining, and creative all at the same time. You’re going to lose your touch if you don’t start writing.”
I was all the way awake at this point and thinking “Holy Cow, what a great idea!”
I have been excited to get going ever since.
Time is still a problem. There is a reason I quit telling long, elaborate bedtime stories. I ran out of time.
Even now as I type I am feeling guilty for stealing writing time, guilty that I am not out in the greenhouse pulling irrigation lines for the new seedlings. I’m not truly sorry mind you, just a little guilty. The farm has so many things that absolutely need to be done each and every day that it can be exhausting just to get up in the morning and face it. Sometimes I lie in bed and think “Why the heck were the Mayans wrong?!” And when I start to feel like that too many days in a row I know it’s time to take an hour or two off.
So this is my version of free-time. “Me” time. And I’m inviting you to share it with me.
I’ll be posting the 6 words every Sunday night.
Unless some catastrophe happens on the farm and I’m too dog tired to type. It does happen.
Or unless it is haying season in which case it might not happen for a couple weeks in a row. I’ll try to let you know.
What I’m saying is, I’m doing this for my sanity, and my sanity requires a certain amount of leeway for failure. If I start this thing out by saying “I’ll have 52 stories by this time next year, no matter what!” I will be setting myself up for disappointment because I’m a somewhat scatter-brained, over-worked, homeschooling mother of 4 and I know in advance that there will be some weeks in the coming year when I will not be able to finish my story by Saturday night.
Heck, there will probably be some Sunday’s when I am too tired to pull a scrap of paper out of a jar.
But this is my creative life-line. If I have this to look forward to, this beauty of dreams, words, wishes, and childhood joy I can get through all of the other things that fill my days.
Sometimes God gives us trials to bless our lives and make us strong.
And sometimes He gives us little drops of tenderness that fill up and warm all the places that we were afraid had withered up and died just in the course of living.
Its proof to my mind that God is a gardener; he knows just what cultivation we need to blossom.