Whimsy, Words, and Wisdom
Definition: Endearing quaintness. The quality of being playfully humorous, especially in an endearing way.
As a children’s writer, whimsy is a good thing to incorporate into your writing. You want your stories to be endearing, playful and humorous.
This month I feature the picture book Lost and Found written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel Books (December 29, 2005)
Amazon.com has this to say about Lost and Found.
From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day The Crayons Quit comes a humorously warm tale of friendship. Now also an animated TV special!
What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it. But the journey to the South Pole is long and difficult in the boy’s rowboat. There are storms to brave and deep, dark nights. To pass the time, the boy tells the penguin stories. Finally, they arrive. Yet instead of being happy, both are sad. That’s when the boy realizes: The penguin hadn’t been lost, it had merely been lonely. A poignant, funny, and child-friendly story about friendship lost . . . and then found again.
Definition: Meaningful combinations of sounds that are a unit of language or its representation in a text.
Writers love words. We use words to communicate and express ideas. We use words to make sentences. We use sentences to make paragraphs. And we use paragraphs to make stories. It’s important to use the best words possible.
This month’s words are either LOST or FOUND. This month’s exercise is to use either word “lost” or "found" or both in a short story, poem, or whatever suits your fancy. Any form of the words are acceptable. Maybe your writing will "find" a home somewhere!
I encourage you to do each month’s exercises and in six months you will have six new pieces of writing. In twelve months, you will have twelve. I say go for it! And I'd love to see what you've written for these exercises. If you would like a critique, I'll critique up to 200 words free.
Definition: Accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.
I have been writing for children for over 30 years. I have published eight books and taught several writing classes through the Loft Literary Center, community education and at conferences.
This month's bit of wisdom is in the following quote from E.L. Doctorow: "Planning to write is not writing. Outlining...researching...talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”
Watch for my next blog where I will share more about whimsy, words and wisdom. Til then, choose your words wisely.