Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, and a third floor bedroom window.

"It all began when someone left the window open . . ."

And so begins an outline, due tomorrow for my daughter's writing class, a narrative--in first person present, thank you--inspired by one photo of a Third Floor Bedroom window, left open. Enter, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, the children's book by author Chris Van Allsburg.

You may know the story, created by Allsburg; the tale goes along that, one random day, Van Allsburg discovered a stack of pictures lying around his editor's office: fourteen ghostly pictures, drawn by a phantom of a man named Harris Burdick as illustrations to a children's story, Burdick promptly disappearing into thin air. According to the Allsburg's story, Burdick never returned, the pictures never claimed. 

It's a terrific premise, a better plot, and these ethereal illustrations remind me about the power of writing prompts, and how a muse can help form a mental image, and turn words into 
a novel.

She's writing her outline now, my dear little writer, while together we plot and daydream about the paper bird peeling from the wallpaper, and what can happen, if we only have the courage to leave our windows, wide open.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My summer blog stinks, and why it's okay.

My kids are tanned, Silver Beach picnicked, and Michigan splash padded. My kids have been county fair wristbanded, tennis lessoned, golf course driven, been neighborhood bike ridden, and summer camp ziplined.

This summer,they've swam, fearless, to the faraway neighbor's bright yellow raft, and been picked up at the end of the pier for an impromputu water ski in a tricked out Mastercraft boat. They've been Dunes Lakeshore skim boarded, while warned repeatedly about the reality of rip currents. They've listened to, while sunscreen soaked into their reddening skin, why Lake Michigan is a killer, and why the very bluest water means it's scary deep, while the same lake's creamy turquoise means a friendly sandbar waits to be discovered, just below the water's surface.  

This is why my blog stinks.

It's because of the kids.

This summer, I took a breath, didn't sweat my platform, or my klout, my Likes or my wordcount.  Wait, that's not entirely, true;  I did sweat my wordcount, a little.  But it's okay.  As we knew it would, summer would end (and it did). School is in. The 2gb card tucked into my digital camera, still full.

And now, I'm ready.