Childhood Toys and Writing

Years ago, my parents woke every weekend morning to a thundering crash.  They remained calmly tucked in bed for they knew it was only their short, scrawny, pig-tailed little kid.  Me.

The sun rising was my cue to hop out of bed, open my closet, drag out my large bin of Lincoln Logs and Little People figurines and dump them all over the floor.   I had a long-going saga which involved two families who lived in a small prairie town.   One family was rich and resided in a Fisher-Price house.  The other family was poor and lived in a log cabin.  The poor family included the father who was currently away at war, a kindly mother, and four sisters.  (No, this part wasn’t at all inspired by Little Women.  gee-why would you think so?)  The shy, yet strong-willed, tomboyish, bookworm youngest daughter (not me-  geesh!) was madly in love with one of the sons of the rich family.  He reciprocated.  Alas, his snobby parents forbade the romance.  Oh, the drama!  The heartbreak!  The passion of desperate lovers secretly meeting and engaging in activities which at that point I’d only seen on TV.

Yes, it was all very torrid.  (sniffles)

After a couple hours, I’d abandon my gang to watch the Smurfs while eating Cookie Crisp cereal.

Well, as Stevie Nicks sang, “even children get older”- so one day the Lincoln Logs and Little People were passed on to younger relatives.  My stories went from being played out with toys to pen and paper, then to a child typewriter, an adult typewriter, and now, of course, a computer.

As I continue working on my novel, I’m trying to regain the pure joy I had with creating stories when I was a kid.   I’m tired of stressing over every word, every comma, every paragraph.  I want to have fun again!

Every writer knows they must shut off the inner-editor while writing the story.   But knowing, and being able to do so, are two very different things.

Here’s my own plan: for the rest of this draft, I’m going to pretend I am not trying to be published.  I’m just writing for fun.  No one else will ever see this except family and friends.  Surely, with my vibrant imagination- I can pretend this.

So, yeah.  There it is.  This story is just for me.  Just like when I was a kid playing with Lincoln Logs or a teen sprawled on her bed.

It’s time to have fun again.

Come Monday, maybe I’ll pick up some Cookie Crisp.  🙂

Published in: on October 18, 2008 at 6:22 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. There’s nothing like the simple joy of childhood. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor in fifth grade, typing up my first attempt at a novel on an old typewriter my mother bought for me, writing anything that came to mind no matter how cliche it was or how boring someone else might find it, no matter if it even fit into the rest of the story or not. Now I have a tendency to psych myself out and overanalyze things. One thing I’ve found that helps me, though, is timed writes. I set a kitchen timer for an hour and make myself write during that hour. I can’t pause for more than a few seconds. That helps me get out of my own way and it does tend to result in more fun.

  2. Hi K.S.,

    “writing anything that came to mind no matter…..”

    That was me, too. Stories flowed out of me like no tomorrow. It was pure joy.

    I know I can recapture that again.

    Thanks for the tip. I find I usually work best in long sessions rather than short. However, I do jump around a lot- running to get more tea, etc. It might be a good exercise for me to remain seated for an entire hour without allowing myself to do anything but write. I’ll definitely give it a try.


  3. You better get that box of Cookie Crisp cereal, girl!

    : )

    I, for one, am cheering on your brilliant plan loud enough for you to almost hear it from here. I know exactly the state you’re describing, and I uphold all efforts to shake it off.

    Before I met so many other writers, I thought it was just me. However, if that mind comes with the territory, at least we’re not alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And, for the record, I LIKE exclamation points!

    : P

    (P.S. — Guess what we had for a snack last night? A peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Yup.)

    Yummy. : )


  4. You know Em- the more we chat, the more I am certain we’d have a blast together. I can picture us sitting outside in your beautiful yard working on our novels or just relaxing as we look at that wide-open sky.

    No, no…you’re certainly not alone with that mind!

    Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. It really does help me.

    I’m ridiculously happy that you tried and liked the pb and pickle sandwich. Now you can pass it on to others and put up with their, “yuck! are you nuts?”- until they try it, that is. 🙂

    I’m going to give the banana sandwich you mentioned a try. Fair’s fair!

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