Flash forward several years. The kids are in college. I’ve finally finished my degree and started a career in education. Once in a while, when writing a card or letter, I remembered how much I’d always enjoyed writing. Quietly, two little characters begin to develop, twin bunnies, Bonnie and Bobby. They happily scamper around in my brain, in there but not intrusive.
Flash forward a few more years. In October, 2007, our lives were amazingly changed with the very early entrance of our granddaughter, Annalyn, into our family of readers. Since her Mommy had always been an avid reader, it wasn’t surprising that Annalyn understood the wonder of books at an early age. That’s when it happened. Stories and rhymes began racing through my mind. I had no choice: I had to start capturing my prose and poetry on paper. Media being the incredible tool it is, it was easy to embed pictures of Annalyn into her stories. And she loved them! When I gave Annalyn a book of her stories for her 4th birthday, other family members read them and seemed to enjoy them as well.
Okay, rewind just a little. We’ve moved into a home with an enclosed back porch, which I love. We are cat people, house cat people (please see the ABOUT tab, to take a look at our two youngest children, Magellan and Maisie). Come to find out, the suburb we live in has a cat leash law. No problem for M & M. Then while sitting on the back porch, I start to notice “woodland creatures”, as our son calls them, playing in the backyard. Apparently since cats are not on the prowl, woodland creatures are. One day, I spied a couple of rabbits having a grand ole time. There they were, Bonnie and Bobby Bunny, living in my backyard!
Recap: bunny baby gift, loved writing, bunny characters show up, granddaughter is born, “Annalyn books", rabbits in the backyard. Now the stories that were demanding a voice starred a couple of bunnies instead of a little girl. The little girl still played an important role as I thought about what kind of stories I would like for her to read and enjoy. As an educator, I recognized the importance of engagement in literature. If the reader struggles to be engaged with the story, any message or lesson will be lost. The challenge continues to be to create stories that deliberately invite the reader in and make her comfortable enough to be receptive to the lesson.
As charming as I think Bonnie and Bobby Bunny are, in light of my personal vision for writing (see July 1 post, "What's Cooking?"), I think the Lord has had His hand on their stories all along. Their stories seem to have a life of their own. Teachers sometimes instruct students to try and visualize a "movie" of the story they are reading in their minds to help them comprehend it. One prayer over my writing for children is to give them a movie that draws them in. Using animals as the main characters will hopefully make them universal, so the focus stays on the lessons they are learning. Besides, bunnies are not exactly threatening, and are indigenous to many areas, which tends to make them familiar and friendly to children.
Sadly, one talent I do not seem to be gifted with is illustration. For each of the stories, the appearance and actions of the characters are crystal clear in my brain. For a while I was a little worried about not having illustrations to match the text, but no longer. I figure if I am obedient in capturing the Bunnys' life lessons, through a kid-friendly Christian lens, when the time is right, the Lord will provide an artist who will see Bonnie and Bobby as clearly as I do. I can't wait.
I hope you will join the Bunnys and me on our journey of discovery and sharing. They have already taught me a lot about writing, about life, and about leading a yielded life in Christ. Perhaps they have something to share with you. They are waiting to ask, "What's up, Doc?"
What have you been willing to open up and share with others lately?
- Personal and family photos
- Non-Cheesy Faith Stock Photos: http://cdn.beaconads.com/1276279/209950-1393011192.jpg
- Public Domain images: http://tinyurl.com/ouq4uyv