writing for children

Passing of the torch

Ideas come at the weirdest times and in the weirdest places…and then they are sometimes swept away in the same manner.

While at a funeral home waiting in line for a viewing, I had an idea come to me for a new MG. We were far back in line, so yes…I spilled the beans right then and there to my hubby and 12 year old daughter. They both “ewwww-ed” my idea and gave me the “that’s icky!” look. I didn’t care. I knew it was a good idea.

After we’d been home a while, my 12 year old came up to me and casually asked, “Can I use your idea? You know – the one you told us at the funeral home?”

She has NEVER asked me for anything like that before that I can remember. She is definitely our drama/drawing/poetic/creative arts girl. However…writing a story with a plot has never been her fave thing to do. But my baby wanted to write a story!!!

How could I say no? I sucked it up and let her have it.

She ran to the other room, pen and paper in hand.

In about 30 minutes, she returned with a full page of the story. She was so excited! I listened, half-expecting it to fall flat. NOT because she isn’t a good writer, but b/c she’s never liked to write this type of thing.

But I was wrong. She hooked me right away! She continued to write for the next hour, running back to me every twenty minutes or so to share what she “had so far”.  I asked if I could see how her spelling was coming along, but assured her I wasn’t going to correct it right then. I didn’t want to stop the flow of creativity.  She said, “Please do! Write above it if you see anything that needs to be fixed.”

Wow. This is the daughter who, only a year ago, couldn’t stand to be told her writing needed improvement. Now she’s asking for editing and even advice. I’m floored.

This is just the start, but she ended up with three pages ON HER OWN. She can hardly wait to start up again tomorrow.

She took my idea and made it her own. This is now HER story. Perhaps it was never mine to begin with. Matter of fact, I’m sure of it.

She was bubbling over with creativity and the joy of the story as she made her way to bed.  She asked me several times if I liked it. The answer? A resounding YES.

My baby – the writer. I probably can’t convince her…but I think I’m even more excited than she is.


8 thoughts on “Passing of the torch

  1. Hi Donna,

    I checked out the post about the praying mantis on the WP homepage and saw you there. That’s a first for me… seeing someone I recognize from blogging on someone else’s post. Anyway, I linked to you here and am glad I did. What a nice post. My daughter (9) also likes to write. So far, she hasn’t gotten into a story with that intensity. I can see where it would be exciting! I know you will love seeing how the story evolves and grows with her, knowing that you planted the seed that started it. What a great metaphor for life.


  2. Thanks, Vijaya! She has several composition books, but did ask me to buy her a separate one JUST for this story. So, I’m going to oblige. She and her best friend (who is, incidentally, the MC’s best friend in her book) have decided to write the story together. This is going to be interesting!! 😉

    I’ve used this opportunity to talk to her about the option of brainstorming some ideas. She seemed receptive, even if not completely convinced. I also approached the subject of outlining before she writes. Not so sure she’s too eager to employ that tactic. 🙂



  3. Hi Kami! That praying mantis is NOT my favorite bug, but I had to check out that post b/c I do find them fascinating. Creepy, but fascinating. 🙂

    And you’re right, it is very exciting to see HER so excited! She’s on a roll and I don’t want to stop that kind of movement! 🙂 I bet yours will be doing the same thing before too long!



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