When I hear there’s a big snow storm coming and I know I won’t be able to go out, I think “Great! I will have all that time to write.”
It’s true that time is available. Why, then, am I so occupied with the weather reports, when it will end, how much will accumulate, that I write nothing?
I have no answer. During the past two weeks, the Northeast – along with half of the United States – has been inundated with storms. From early Thursday morning to Friday morning this week, we piled up eighteen inches of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and more snow. I was warm, dry, well fed, and had nothing to complain about, yet I could not sit down and write. I looked out the window. I made rice pudding. I watched The Weather Channel. I looked out the window. I cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I watched The Weather Channel. Off and on I checked our email. I made tea or coffee. I looked out the window. Not one thought came to my head of writing.
I couldn’t even read.
What is your reaction to a big storm?
How many times have you said, “I wonder why….”
I have had a fascination with dragons for many years. While living in Poland in the early 1990s, I visited Krakow, which credits a dragon for giving the city its name, “belonging to Krak.” In Warsaw a restaurant carries the name of another mythological creature which lived and guarded a treasure in a basement of Old Town. These creatures were all malevolent. The opposite is true of the dragon, celebrated at the Chinese New Year.
One day my husband and I sat at a small restaurant table sipping a cup of coffee. Perhaps I’d just worked on a story of the Krakow dragon. I asked, “I wonder why people thought the dragon breathed fire.” My husband is never without an answer to any question. Together we began to build the a story of why dragon’s breathe fire.
It is now many years later, but I have just finished another edit of that story for a picture book. “When I was just a little dragon, Mama and I lived in a dark cave beneath the high stone castle beside the river…..”
It is a pourquoi tale designed for ages four to six. Now I must find an editor and a publisher. For me this is the hardest part of writing for children. Anyone interested?