As a recent law school graduate I often find myself thinking about my “dream” job, perhaps because right now that’s the only job I have been able to find in today’s dismal job market. Though I know I need to find a career that will make my three years of torturous struggle (aka law school) worthwhile, I find my thoughts returning over and over again to my love of writing. I have written stories and poems, even full plays that have been put into production. I even wrote a movie script when I was a teenager that I plan on never allowing to see the light of day. I keep thinking that I should finally just sit down and write an actual book.
I have told myself this many times and have started a number of them, I never got more than a few paragraphs in when I would lose interest and quit. I mean seriously, if I couldn’t even hold my own interest how could the book possibly hold anyone else’s interest? Not only that but writing is a very scary thing. You pour yourself into writing sometime and then you have to let others read it, what if they hate it??? I have a certain friendin mind that makes my stomach churn whenever I think about him reading my work. Its always been a very daunting prospect to think about working so hard to write a whole novel just to have everyone but your mother hate it. I will be honest, it has stopped me before, even mow it gives me some hesitation. So what reasons do I have now that makes me think I will finish the, not just book I have started, but the series of books I have begun to flesh out? Well, there are two of them and they just turned seven a couple months ago and have started to gain an interest in reading. I won’t hold you in suspense any longer, they are my sons.
I have always been an avid reader and was hoping my sons would inherit my unquenchable thirst for reading from me. However they didn’t seem much interested in books that took longer than five minutes to read and they had to be mostly pictures. That was until we started reading a chapter a night out of a little known series called Harry Potter. I was hesitant to read them the series because of those who said my children would then think that witchcraft was a good thing and so on down the rabbit hole straight to hell. Now I’m not questioning those who decide that Harry Potter isn’t ok for their own children, I think parents need to decide for themselves what’s best for their children and we shouldn’t judge each other for our own personal choices. So if you are someone who is not down with Harry Potter I hope you will offer me the same respect and not judge my decisions. i decided to read the books myself to see whether I wanted to read them with my fellas and after reading the series I was struck by two thoughts. The first is one of my favorite quotes by the beloved writer C.S. Lewis, “Since it is so likely thatchildren will meet cruel enemies let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” The books are about bravery, loyalty, friendship and good triumphing over evil. These are things I want to instill inmy children.
The second thought I had was that finding something exciting that can hold the attention of two very energetic young boys is difficult, so finding books that would get them excited about reading would be no easy feat. I had tried reading the popular series by Mr. Lewis prior to the talented Rowlings series and my kids barely sit still to the fifth page. I was starting to think it would be a difficult journey to get my boys to like reading half as much as I did. (Confession, I even bribed them with toys to read chapters from the chapter books they picked out at the library.) I thought if I could just get them to see how exciting books could be then they would want to read more on their own. It was not going well. It was like pulling teeth to get them to read, no it was worse because they didn’t mind having their teeth pulled because they knew the “tooth fairy” would bring them money for the teeth (even if it took a couple days when I/she forgot to make the exchange, sheepish grin).
That’s when I gave Harry a shot and to my utter gratitude he did not disappoint! My fellas would get so excited about reading that they would want me to keep going to the next chapter. They would get so caught up in the story that they would come home from school talking about conversations they had withtheir friends about the books. They were so engaged, asking questions, telling me how they pictured certain scenes in their heads, learning new words, I was so thrilled! They were finally starting to see how amazing reading could be. Theybegan to read more on their own. They picked harder books when we went to the library. They starting requesting books that their friends had told them about so I knew they were actually talking to their friends about books! We were also able to have so really great conversations about reality and make believe along with beliefs regarding spiritual matters and how there are others who believe differently than we do and how to handle those situations. It has really been an amazing experience and even given us some great inside jokes (like I now shout “troll in the dungeon” when its time for dinner). I was glad that we had found something that got my kids excited about reading.
The geek in me was flying high! And that’s when it hit me, what happens when Harry Potter ends? What about all the kids out there who have finished reading of his amazing adventures? They will need new heroes to follow and new tales to read about. I know that there are many, many gifted writers out there, and countless stories that have been bound into books. But what I suddenly wanted, was to write stories that made my boys fall in love with reading the way I did when I was a little girl. I wanted them to read words that I had written about brave knights and heroic courage and realize how incredible our imaginations are and how they can be used to promote good over evil.
That is what made me dust off the old imagination and start creating a whole new world, with characters they will aspire to be like and places they will dream about. Then I thought, since they will one day be too old for fairytales but too young to read them to their own children, that I would create this blog for them to read. So that they might benefit from seeing the process of my writings and know of my labor of love for them and any other child (or child at heart) who might read my stories. This blog is to commemorate my writings and follow my I struggle through the creative process in an attempt to create a series that awakens a love for reading while teaching that we can all be heroes.