Windshield Musings

Am I the only one who finds endless inspiration behind the wheel of my car? I swear this is where most of my productive thinking takes place, when I’m driving, alone and the radio is off. (Alone is the key component, meaning the back seat is empty and I can actually hear myself think) It happened again this week.  I was driving and chewing over my latest idea and I realized the connecting theme in all the stories I’ve ever written.  It’s a subtle thread that connects stories about dragons, rain drops, watermelon and kitchen appliances.  It continues through stories about days of the week, road trips, farmers, and bears.  Clear as day, I recognized my ‘style’; or at least my current style, because I’m not so naive to think that it’ll never change. It was quite an ‘aha moment’ and it surely taught me a little about myself.

Through all my manuscripts (which is currently around the 20 mark), I continue to be inspired to elevate the status of everyday objects (ideas/people/places/things) and allow them to become something powerful.  Through explanation, imagination and sometimes personification, I try to transform these ‘ordinary’ objects and show my readers what happens when something reaches its full potential.  When the characters rise to their own occasion, my hope is that it will empower the children who read their stories to do the same. I can tell you that the total number of readers I currently have is three, and they’re a bit biased, but we’re off to a good start.

Everything, everyone and everywhere you turn you are stories waiting to be shared.  What’s even better, is that picture books also hold a component of magic you won’t find anywhere else.  The beautiful blend of words and illustrations, the magic combination of 32 pages, engaging covers, and adorable end pages bring readers of all ages to a place where life pauses and stories are shared.  Almost without fail, picture books have a lesson to teach, and these lessons are universal truths.  When the cover to a picture book is opened, and a story begins, children are immediately drawn in and adults can’t seem to resist the pull of the story either. Believe it or not, I’ve even seen the elusive teenager stop in their tracks, put down an electronic and listen as a story is read aloud. Picture books transcend and extend their magic to anyone within earshot.

Amidst the chaos and conflict that seems to engulf our world at times, I hold fast to the belief that if we empower our children we will change the world. As a mother, a woman and a writer, I seek to empower and inspire daily.  I want to tell stories that children can relate to, whether they find themselves on a farm in the country, an east coast apartment, a west coast walk-up or a houseboat in a swamp. I hope that one day, when (thinking positively) my stories become books, kids will think “that’s exactly how I feel”, “that makes perfect sense”, or even “I never thought of it that way”.  I know I’m not alone in these aspirations, which is what makes the Kid Lit community such a great one.  An enormous, encouraging group of people who believe in the power of children.  There are countless ways to tell a story and teach a lesson, thankfully there will be plenty of books to go around.  I hope you’re reading, writing, drawing or playing something fabulous today.

 

Thanks for reading, come back anytime!

-JP

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