"Writers begin with a grain of sand, and then create a beach."
~ Robert Black
When my last blog posted, I was blessed to be in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My plan for today's post was to share about long strolls on the beach gathering seashells because I just can't help myself.
But sometimes our plans don't take us where we think we'll go. Although I did have many long walks and did gather a collection of seashells, other things happened in the Atlantic Ocean that were opposite of my peaceful strolls. As we enjoyed the beauty and serenity, we kept informed of what was going on with Hurricane Irma's monstrous path through the Caribbean. We wondered about evacuating if she headed up the east coast. We thought about the destruction she had already brought to fragile islands. We recalled the times hurricanes had ravaged the Outer Banks we love. We even remembered the hurricanes my husband was called out to be a first responder as an electric utility employee. We wondered, as did meteorologists, where Irma would impact the US. And I mulled over how I'd be able to write about the beauty of the ocean and beach, one of my favorite places, while Floridians and Texans were picking up the pieces of their coastal lives and homes from Irma's and Harvey's wrath.
Then I decided that instead maybe I could write about the 2017 Northern Ohio SCBWI Regional Conference on Saturday (9/16/17). I definitely was inspired, encouraged, and edified by presenters at the four breakout sessions I attended and the fabulous opening, midday, and closing addresses. During the closing address, "Off the Beaten Path," Jill Santopolo spoke about her path that abruptly changed, yet she knows she's where she's supposed to be. It was then I figured it out.
By writing about my process over the past few days, my thought patterns, my experiences and observations, I'd illustrate how our plans don't always take us where we think we'll go, but we end up where we're supposed to be. And by doing so, I've touched on all I contemplated.
How ironic that the quote I chose for this post ties writing and sandy beaches together!
Thanks again for stopping by.
Her teacher smiled. "Just make a mark and see where it takes you... Now sign it."
Excerpt from The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, 2003 Candlewick
I became acquainted with The Dot just the other day. When I first heard a brief summary with a few interesting sentences my thoughts went back to 6th grade when I realized writing was a fun thing to do. Eager to know the rest of the story, I headed to my local library the very next day, found the book, and brought it home to read and study how Peter H. Reynolds created such a powerful message in so few words.
As an educator I was first drawn to the wise and subtle way the teacher encouraged the main character. Then thinking back to my elementary school days, I identified with the main character when she realized what she could do after she saw her work, her dot, prominently displayed. And as a writer the two words "sign it" spoke ownership and accomplishment, a way to make your mark.
The Dot is a Picture Book that delivers a lot in a little over 300 words. The back cover states it's for ages 5 and up. I think the "and up" can be quite high to inspire children, teens, and adults. If you're a teacher, take a look at The Dot and let me know how you might use it to inspire your students, or maybe even one. Parents can use it to encourage children when they're learning anything new that's hard at first, or if the child just doesn't believe they can do it.
I found it ironic and interesting that when I launched my website, I welcomed you to "my little dot on the internet."
Thanks for coming back!