Monday, October 12, 2009

Striving for Perfection

I have been struggleing for weeks with an assignment for my children's writing course. Past assignments have been a breeze compared to this one. It is a non-fiction article. I have never written a non-fiction article.

I choose a subject that I am passionate about, and studied the facts faithfully. Then, I sat down to write. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Finally a friend advised me to just write. Get it down, good, bad, or ugly. Then go back and fix it. So this I did.

First introduction... YUCK!

Second introduction... BLAHHH!

Third introduction... IIIICCCCKKK!

And so on, and so, and so on.

It was just facts! I knew the facts, they were accurate and clear, but it was boring!

For weeks I agonized, wondering if I should just choose a different subject. Then one night, I decided to ask my non-reading, non-writing, husband his opionion on one of my introductions. I am so glad I did!

I have learned, you should never underestimate the power of an outside opinion. Even one who isn't part of your writers group. If I had submitted my intros to my group they most likely would have helped me long ago.

Thank you Larry for your words of wisdom. "Did Thomas Jefferson have a dog?"

I didn't use it, but it caused me to think and to write from a different viewpoint.

I'm ninety percent done with my first draft. I hope someone out there can learn from my struggle.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pajama Raid

Childhood is fleeting, and like I have declared in past blogs, I want to give to my children as memorable an experience as possible.

My sister gave me an idea for something to do with my kids, and I jumped right on it, adding my own twists and turns.

It was Friday night, my husband and I had placed the kids in their beds ten minutes prior. It was quiet. We grabbed our flashlights and proceeded to turn out each light in our home. We tip-toed up the stairs and opened our kids doors whispering, "Pajama Raid".

We communicated to them the need to whisper because there could be spies around every corner. Quietly we put on jackets, descended the stairs, and exited to the garage. Their voices filled with wonder as we went. We also informed them they would be briefed on the mission as soon as we got inside the vehicle.

The kids couldn't believe or guess what was going on. Once the last child was fastened in their seat I turned and said to them, "this is Operation Ice Cream!"

The kids squealed with glee.

"But we must remain as quiet as possible, and keep a look-out for spies or anyone else out there who may try and jeopardize the mission. Lay low!" I commanded.

All the way to Dairy Queen we looked for "tails on our back" as we traveled the dark roads.

I gave them all code names for the mission. They were in total elation mode the whole trip.

The ice cream was inhaled quickly as we returned safely to base. We tip-toed back up the stairs where they were briefed in the hall.

"This was a top secret mission," I whispered flash light in hand. "In order to be granted another adventure you cannot ask when the next one will be or that will delay it."

They quietly returned to their rooms, still whispering their unbelief at what just occurred.

My husband and I plan to do it again, when? You never can tell. Maybe every couple months or so.

Anyone else have any memories or idea's like this? I'd love to hear about them. I look forward to sitting around having coffee with my kids when they are twenty or thirty something, and listening to them relay the memories of their childhood with animation in their eyes.

Perhaps with the proceeding arrival of winter, our next mission will be, "Operation Hot Chocolate"!