Tuesday, December 6, 2011
As I sat down to type this, I tried to find some topic that would relate to Joylene’s readers. While I browsed her blog, I found a combination of writing, nature and family—all things I enjoy and appreciate.
Like many writers, I’ve written in some form since I was a kid. I am an avid reader, and I truly believe being a reader is crucial to every writer’s success. It keeps you in touch with the pulse of the market, it helps you define what you like, and it inspires ideas. According to Stephen King, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” That sounds like great advice.
On this blog, I saw the lovely photos Joylene posted of her winter wonderland on Cluculz Lake. During any other year they would have inspired some happy story that takes place during Christmas. This year, however, they remind me what a fickle mistress Mother Nature is. Our area has been hit by three major storms over the past five months; the last, a freak early snowstorm at the end of October that dumped more than 10 inches of snow on us and left us without power for a week. Yet, certainly, there must be some inspiration in that as well. I felt like we lived out on the Dakota prairie in the 1800’s. If I had a real fireplace and a barn full of hay, I might have considered twisting hay into sticks to keep warm like Laura Ingalls and her family did in The Long Winter.
I’m not sure what story will come from this year’s weather conundrums, but I know they will weave their way into my writing somewhere.
Finally, we come to family. My children are my greatest source of inspiration. Two of my as yet unpublished picture books are based upon one of my daughters—a human Curious George with an unlimited fountain of imagination. I went gaga over the pictures of Joylene’s new grandson, Blake. As she said, a new baby makes you sit there and “marvel at how precious life is.” Life is precious, and babies are a sign that miracles happen every day.
During this season of joy and peace, I hope you find what you need to make your writing dreams come true; I wish Mother Nature is kind to you; and I pray you and your family experience the miracles of Christmas every day of the year.
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.
Visit Cheryl at her newly redesigned website http://ccmalandrinos.com or visit the Little Shepherd book blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com.