As a child, my mother would try to get me to sit and read. It was always a battle, not because I disliked reading, but because I didn't want to stop playing to read a book. Mom would say "Someday you will wish you read more as a child, just wait and see!" I would shrug her off as though her words meant nothing, but those words resonated with me throughout my life. Mom knew I liked reading and that I had favorite books, but she wanted me to read more, and that was the challenge.
My favorite children's book was Harold and the Purple Crayon . I love how Harold used his walls and his imagination to make-up his story up as he went along. Of course most of us would have been in a heap of trouble if we wrote on the walls in our home, but one day my mom allowed us to do just that. However, that story will have to be for another blog, so lets get back to Harold and how he and his purple crayon helped me develop my own style of creativity.
When I get an idea for a story, it's usually something that catches my eye. One day not long ago, a friend of mine was taking me home. I live in the rural area of San Diego, and we have a long private road leading to my house. As we approached my home, I see a bunny and a road runner standing next to each other. "Oh look, that would be an adorable story!" I blurted out. She rolls her eyes, because she knows I am about to tell her what this story is, and I did. I think by verbalizing it immediately, it helps me remember the idea when I don't have paper to write down my thoughts. Also, any of the illustrations to my writing needs to match what I see, not just what the illustrator envisions, after all, my purple crayon is drawing my story.
When pictures don't match what I see in my mind, the illustrator and I begin revisions till it is correct. For instance, in one of the illustrations in the drawing stage there was a clock on the wall, but it was set for breakfast, not lunch and oddly enough, It was an 8 hour day, which was weird to me. It is important to me that the story line, objects, colors, scenes, etc be accurate. I am not opposed to making changes in any of my illustrations, as I have consulted with my family and friends, gathered their input, and updated the images for the better. I am not always right, but I am right to want to reflect the story accurately.
On a final note, the art of storytelling without a book or illustrations, is a great way to bring out a persons own creative thoughts. I think everyone should try it.
My daycare kids loved when we had invisible book time. I would ask them "What story are we going to tell today?" Suddenly the little ones are all shouting their suggestions "A cat!" said one, "No a girl with a pet bug!" said another. Finally, after they decided on a subject I would begin the story and hope it became believable to the kids. Often these stories were funny, mixed up, silly and fun. The children loved them as much as I loved telling them.
I am a lot like Harold and the purple crayon, except when I make up my own story, I don't have a purple crayon, I have a box of crayons in my mind. and they are all scribbling the scenes of my next adventure and I have to get it out, so I just start telling it as I see it.