Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Sometimes a child can make you see things a whole different way, simply because she doesn't want to see things a whole different way. Sadie and I were playing with Play-Doh the other day, and she had a fit if I changed the shape of the stuff. Rolled it like a hotdog? Shriek. Flattened it like a pancake? Shriek. Cut it in half? Double shriek. She wanted the purple blob just the same way it came out of the can and was crabby when she couldn't get her way.

Most of us are like Sadie---we want the comfort of our known world. We buy our favorite authors, we watch our favorite shows, we hang out with our favorite friends, we visit our favorite blogs (and thank you if you're reading this). We know what we like, and that's not a bad thing. But I never want to get too comfortable. My next book will be a challenge I hope to pull off. My hero will be kind of unheroic---a morally challenged, damaged man who will be transformed by the love of a good woman (the still first nameless Miss Peartree). What have you done lately to stretch your Play-Doh?

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. ~Henry Ward Beecher


Stephanie J said...

I feel like you wrote this post as a special shout-out to me! lol. It is so timely in my life... I might be purchasing a condo or a townhouse but my current surroundings are so comfortable and convenient so I'm struggling with a decision to move to a new setting. I've also been struggling with some of my writing practices and stretching myself beyond what has always been. So strange to love change but to love comfort equally.

Elyssa Papa said...

Wisdom from toddlers. Love it. I think I try to push myself out of my comfort zone in my writing; sometimes to either good or disastrous results.

Maggie Robinson said...

Steph, I know just how you feel. Real estate is a huge investment, but if you think you're getting a good deal, go for it! I've rented and owned, but nothing beats the feeling of knowing you can dress up your place any way you want. Pink walls to match your shoes, LOL.

Ely, you know what Sadie's deal was? She's very organized. Once the Play-Doh came out of the can, she wanted to put it right back in and put the top on. She could have done that 100 times. Maybe when she's a little older, she'll make a crab with me, LOL. (And I've seen no disaster yet in your writing...except for the poor lion and poor Maxwell. I will never forgive you. *g*)

Elyssa Papa said...

I think murdering the lion and Maxwell was an omen of things to come for LAYLOM. LOL.

Tiffany Chalmers said...

LOL, Ely! What a way to look at it.

I like this wisdom from babes. You all know HB was way out of my comfort zone. I didn't know what the heck I was writing. If you will think back (to almost a year ago) I think I posted to all my lovely CPs these words... OMG I don't think I'm writing a romance, what am I going to do if it's not a romance. I'm doomed. Of course all you lovely ladies said, oh no, you are going to turn it into a romance :)

I thought I stepped into my comfort zone with my current book. But again, I'm in un-chartered waters. I've even chosen that mixed beta hero that confuses me more than not LOL!

terrio said...

I'm not sure this bodes well for future arguments with Sadie. LOL! I hope to expect to win many of them.

I'm always stepping out of my comfort zone and then kicking myself for it. I went back to college in '06. Don't know what I was thinking as I hate homework and hate doing research papers even more. Volunteered to organize an RWA chapter conference last year. Had no idea what I was doing and though it was a smashing success, do not want to do that ever again.

Now I've volunteered to coach my daughter's softball team. I played for nearly 15 yrs in my youth, but that was slow pitch not fast pitch. And have I mentioned I'm going to be doing this while attempting to write my final paper in school? Since both endeavors run through the end of June, I'm going to be ready to explode by the time I get to Nationals. LOL!

terrio said...

That should be "I hope you DON'T expect to win..."

Sorry. :)

Maggie Robinson said...

Terri, I trust that every effort you make will be a success! I think it's great you're doing stuff with Isabelle. I think all the times I 'overbooked' myself wound up being pretty worthwhile for one reason or another.

And Sadie already has me wrapped around her finger. I suspect I'm going to be flattened like a pancake instead of the Play-Doh. :)

Tiff, I remember that snippet. And look what you've done! Brava!

Janga said...

Maggie, it sounds to me as if Sadie is already a Myers-Briggs SJ; she wants order and closure. :)

The seven-year-old grand had his first exhibit last week, an honor he shared with a number of other young artists selected to represent their schools. It created a crisis for him because he had already decided to be a vet and a writer. But he solved the problem. "I can be an artist too," he said, but I probably can't do all three at the same time." That's a lesson I'm still struggling to learn. LOL!

BernardL said...

I don't stretch my Play-Doh much, but if I have to, it's usually without the shrieks. :)

Maggie Robinson said...

Janga, aren't we all supposed to have seven careers in our lifetime? I think Sadie will terrorize the world for its lack of order. You should see her line up crayons. And she's only 18 months old (technically too young for Play-Doh, but her OTHER grandmother bought it, LOL)

Bernard, I'm sure your Play-Doh is absolutely perfect!