Friday, January 29, 2010

A trip down memory lane

Last week when I was babysitting I found some books in the child's bookshelf that I remembered from my childhood.
They were actually a collection of 4 books from 1965 that each contained a collection of Disney stories. Each book had a different theme. There was America and Fantasyland and I didn't really look at the two others.
I know that when I was growing up my babysitter had these books and I remembered them but after looking at them I couldn't remember why I thought they were so great.
I opened the America collection where I found stories like Pollyanna and Old Yeller.
As I was flipping looking at the book I commented that I didn't know what Old Yeller was doing in this book since it was a sad story.
Instantly the child's ears perked up and she wanted to hear that story but not actually from the words just from the pictures. So I told the story as best I could from the pictures.
There is a picture close to the end of the story where Old Yeller is barking and snarling at the door. So I explained that Old Yeller got sick and he barked at his people because he was sick and then he died.
The child I was babysitting for could not figure out what was so sad about Old Yeller dying. "What's sad about that?" Again and again she asked what was sad about the dog dying. I tried to explain but I think because her family has an older dog she has already prepared herself for the fact that her dog will one day die.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You can be David Bowie

Despite the fact that I am no longer sixteen I still babysit occasionally. Since I'm not a teacher or some other profession that works with kids and I don't have my own kids this is a way for me to be around kids. It can be helpful for my writing to just spend time playing and reading and coloring. I can get ideas for stories and I can see what things the few kids I baby sit for are interested in. The little girl I baby sat yesterday is into "mean witch stories".
I think it is really important as a writer to see how kids relate to books. I've babysat for kids when they want you to read a book over and over again. I've baby sat for kids who will sit down and listen to me read for over an hour one day and then not be interested in looking at a single book the next day. I've babysat for kids who are reading Harry Potter at age 7 and kids who didn't have parents who read to them. I always like to read when I babysit because then I can see how a book can hold a kids attention and also how a book can lose a kid if they aren't into the story.

Yesterday while I was babysitting I got to be David Bowie. Since I "couldn't figure out how to make the DVD player work" and since my Chiropractor is anti sitting on a soft couch we played "Labyrinth" instead of watching it. So this is how it went.
F: I'm going to be Sarah and you can be David Bowie
Me: Awesome I get to be David Bowie. What do I do?
Basically F said some lines from the movie and I had to hide a baby doll and say some lines from the movie then F had to find it.
This is actually the fourth time I've gotten to be a Rock star while babysitting.
One kid I used to baby sit for made me be Christine McVie so we could play Fleetwood Mac. Later her brother made me be The Edge when we played U2 and another kid I used to babysit for make me be Pete Townshend when we played The Who.
So it was pretty fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A new year

I know that New Year's was actually over a week ago. Since my last post in December I have been full steam ahead in finishing the first draft of the novel. Which I did finish on January 1.
The entire month of December I spent thinking about all the things I was going to do when I finished my first draft of my novel. Updating my blog was one of them since I decided that in the name of first draft finishing blog updating could fall behind.
I was going to spend the month of January working on stories that were not my Novel. I was super excited about all the things I was going to work on. But I haven't managed to accomplish much other than getting caught up on life in general.
The other day while I was at work I was thinking about the novel and yesterday I almost opened the novel document to add some more stuff. I am trying to take a break from it until February when I will go back and try to start revising and I'm pretty sure that 10 days isn't a long enough break.
So today I am officially starting the list of things I was going to do in January. Updating blog- check.