Well, the week was NOT productive in my writing....but pay a babysitter for an hour and a half today and .... WOW!
I got to read the whole week of posts and this week they were AMAZING! I have several pages of notes, a list of activities to work on (buy a notebook for my purse, purchase some index cards and index card boxes, rethink my daily goals, etc.), and added some actual picture book ideas to my incredibly short list (no, I do not even have a list of 14, but I have quite a few more than I did when I woke up this morning).
So I've decided the babysitter thing just may need to be a habit. My son had a blast. My only restriction to them was no TV. I can plug him in front of that brain killing machine myself if I need to. But a mere $8 got him total undivided attention. While a little distracting since I placed myself in the dining room (in the middle of the rooms where they were) I also got to listen to him be creative and laugh- a LOT - which is music to a mother's ears and pretty inspirational for a writer to boot!
I can't decide on my favorite post for this week like I did last week. But I would say that the words of Janna Matthies, Denise Fleming and Julie Gribble were the most helpful to me at this point in my writing. All for various reasons, though perhaps it's the insight of Denise Fleming that might keep me going for the long haul.... she reminds us that not only for every good idea are there probably about 50 'stinkers', but that we really should keep EVERY IDEA-- even the ones we think are bad or totally ridiculous.... because you never know where even years from now, that ridiculous, bad idea may lead to the inspiration of your best idea ever. So hold onto them- and keep going back to them to revisit and you may just be surprised one day.
I've been thinking more about the whole twaddle vs. living books as I discussed again in last week's post. I spend much too much time on Facebook, and have been gradually cutting back (I do not want the most vivid memory of me by my children to include me holding my phone to check Facebook, Words With Friends, or even PiBoIdMo) on using my phone- but if I do find myself on Facebook, it's usually to check out what's going on at the Ambleside page. So many really good discussions. One constant discussion topic is the whole twaddle vs. living books debate. Obviously this is tied into my writing life. As I discussed last week- I worry about the children's market being so much more geared to twaddle and 'entertaining' kids rather than truly filling their minds with living books - quality books that feed the mind and ignite their passions.
Always on the Ambleside Online page there are questions posted stating , "Is this book twaddle? What should I do if my child loves to read twaddle? Should I let my beginning reader read these books she loves if it's twaddle?" I am always a little shocked at the tone of those telling these mothers to take all the twaddle away. These kids, they say, will not develop good taste for real literature or a sound vocabulary if they fill their minds with twaddle. But personally, I'm thinking, why would you take away a book that makes a child WANT to read??? Why would you risk killing that desire to read a book by FORCING them to only read the books that YOU consider LIVING? Isn't one of the concepts of a living book is that it entices the mind of the child? If a book is enticing your child to read....makes them hunger for more words on the page....why would you ban it? If it's not filling up the mind with something immoral, why would you take it away? Wouldn't it be better to make sure you are reading them living books and giving them choices that include living books rather than insisting they never read something that YOU consider twaddle?
I will not read Scooby Doo to my son. But I will allow him to bring one home from the library for him to look at himself (or allow someone else in the family to read it to him once in awhile). Nor will I buy a book that I consider to be totally twaddle...well- there might be an exception here and there. But if there's a book that makes my child WANT to read on his own (and it's not immoral in any way) then I WILL allow him to read it. It does not mean that's all he's ever going to read. I'm not going to go through my bookshelves and immediately throw out all that might be considered twaddle by the ladies on Ambleside. I think they mean well....but I also think they are missing the point.
Well- enough of my ramblings on twaddle today. I need to throw out my cold coffee and get some things done (including revisiting my PiBoIdMo notes and my idea page) now before my Movie Night with my youngest son today. It will be the first time he'll get to watch The Wizard of Oz - my desire to offer him classic movies rather than the twaddle of today and reinforce his infatuation with tornadoes! Pray with me that the green faced witch and flying monkeys are seen as funny and not scary!