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Writing Success - A Recipe

Kathlyn Fauchon,


A
t a writers' seminar we were given a smorgasbord of ways to motivate ourselves to look for ideas and themes. In one small segment we viewed a video clip of successful writer Robin Klein telling how she looked for matrial to write her books. She would observe her surroundings and from them glean ideas which she called her "ingredients".

For example, she stood on the railway platform of the Puffing Billy steam train and watched the people. Most were children since it was a tour train. She also noted the sounds. The ingredients would then make up a recipe. Dare I say she would then “cook” the book?

As I listened a memory flashed forward in my mind.

My senses were suddenly crowded in by the sound of silence. It was so very quiet. Why did I notice it now?
This memory came from my childhood. I was not yet in my teens and returning home from boarding school for holidays. In those days all country trains were steam trains. My father was there to meet me as I alighted from the train. As we walked to the car park not many words passed between us, I wasn’t a very talkative person. The dirt enclosure car park lay alongside the very small railway station. It stood in stark contrast to the pavement and bitumen of the city streets. One other car, a taxi, drove off in a cloud of dust.

For some reason my father left me waiting by the car while he attended to some business. My senses were suddenly crowded in by the sound of silence. It was so very quiet. Why did I notice it now? I had grown up in the country. I hadn’t been away much more than two months.

A bird shifted in a tree nearby. I think the birds must have been having a siesta. The train had been giving regular puffing sounds then suddenly it let off steam, blew its whistle and slowly chugged away. It left behind utter stillness. There was no breeze, not a rustle of a leaf, nothing. I just listened to the silence. As I listened a soft high pitched sound came to my ears but it seemed so far away. It lacked energy.
Let’s pick up our baskets and collect our ingredients. When our baskets are full let us bring it to the Intelligent Designer for help and inspiration to write a new recipe.
Cicadas I thought, perhaps only one. Heat! My disposition wilted a little as I thought of the heat.

My father returned and we drove the fourteen miles to home.

In the country one is so close to nature. The creativity of Creation is there before us always. Also there is the stark reminder of death and decay. In the city everyone rushes about their business, no one stops to notice the day or to consider the wonderful things around us. City life is lived in manicured buildings and streets, man-made creations. Do we give thanks for the ability to create or do we take it for granted?

Are we taking "ingredients" from our surroundings – good or bad?

Our speaker reminded us of the importance, the wonderful challenge we have to write for children and to impact their lives for good. This is not only in writing for children but for all genres of writing.

Let’s pick up our baskets and collect our ingredients. When our baskets are full let us bring it to the Intelligent Designer for help and inspiration to write a new recipe. Let us mix the "ingredients" thoroughly and bake in the oven of critique and edit.

Go to it friends, pick up those pens... ahh... tickle those keyboards.


© Kathlyn Fauchon April, 2008
First published at www.peggyblannphifer.com in the "Snips 'n cups cafe" column. Updated November, 2008



















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