Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Dream of Writing Club

One of my New Year's goals is to spend more individual time with each child doing specific things they like to do.

This means I was supposed to play tennis with Shaemus yesterday, but it was dreary and cold and I was too tired to drive around and find an empty court, so we played Battleship instead. We tied, something you may not know is possible with Battleship.

Each child has two hours per week designated to them. Seven to eight on Wednesdays is Lucy time. 

I was still feeling pretty tired by seven o'clock, even without the tennis. Lucy and I had talked earlier about doing a writing club for our special hour on Wednesdays, but I asked her if she'd rather just play a game instead. Playing games is a fallback for me when I'm too tired to think. 

Lucy loves games, so I was surprised when she said she'd rather do Writer's Club. Pleased by this (though still tired), I walked up the stairs and fell onto her bed and said, "Come snuggle then and we'll make a plan." 

We decided to write a book together based on an idea I'd had a few months earlier about a girl who can see images coming out of people's mouths when they speak. These images are very revealing and therefore dangerous, so her parents keep her safely locked away inside an opaque glass castle. Lucy and I spent an hour talking through the possible plot of our story. 

It was so incredibly wonderful. I loved every minute of it (even though I was still tired!). Lucy kept asking the best questions and making the best comments: 

"How could Christienne see the people through the glass if nobody else could earlier? Wouldn't people know there was trouble?"

"I don't think he should be a fairy, Mom. That reminds me too much of Tinkerbell and England." 

And my favorite, because she was so right, "Maybe we should have this take place in Africa, or someplace like Africa, so as she's running away, she's running out into the desert." 

We finished Writer's Club with a plan. She's going to write the prologue (which may or may not stay in the novel when we're done), and I'm going to write the chapter when they discover the magicked toad that can fly and and speak and basically be the fairy Lucy didn't think we should have.
So many people aren't comfortable with writing, but doing it with your child can be such a great thing. Together you will notice inconsistencies you wouldn't notice on your own. One idea will spark off another. You'll get insights into your child's mind and they will get insights into yours, and the time you spend together will be quality time well spent. I'll bet a lot of you are thinking that your child wouldn't want to do this with you, but that is where you'd be WRONG. They will love getting this one on one time with you, and the resulting book, bad or good, will be something you both treasure always.

And while I'm at it, I'll share two books Lucy got for Christmas that she really enjoyed.

Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner (currently a bargain book on Amazon!) 
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And Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky

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