Sunday, November 16, 2014

Give me a box and I'll think outside it


 
Years ago when I taught in a school-age summer program, I presented an activity that encouraged children to use their creativity and imagination. I cut pictures of objects out of magazines and placed them in a box. Each child randomly selected two pictures and came up with a new invention. The results were interesting, fun, and even funny: A vacuum cleaner that dispenses orange juice. A hairdryer that turns on a TV, etc.

If combining two unrelated (or sort-of-related) things worked back then, why not apply it to my writing? Today I took a chance and wrote a creative non-fiction essay which blended a bit of nostalgia with my personal view on today's inappropriate early childhood educational practices.
I know times have changed, but no recess? Restricted movement? Paper/pencil/desk/ditto sheets? Really? For 3-6 year olds? (None of this is in my written text. I addressed these issues by talking about the educational lessons garnered when I made mud pies in childhood.) I titled my submission, A Little Dirt Didn't Hurt. I targeted a multi-age audience and the editor by writing from a professional point of view with an easy reading style, on a relevant topic.
I went further out on a limb by submitting to a (non-educational) publication that I would never have considered before. But I reasoned, my chances are 50-50, and if I don't take a chance, I will never know.

Are you ready to reach higher, take a risk? If you do not believe in yourself, no one else will.

Okay, because I may be a wee bit ADD, and my mind tends to navigate by itself, I just thought of another BOX story for you.
I was at a bridal shower with lots of women way back when...when women didn't, or said they didn't have premarital sex. The hostess placed a box on the floor, told each guest (women of all ages and sizes) to step inside, bend down without bending their knees, and touch their toes. No other instructions. Someone in another room transcribed the comments as women moaned and said: It's too small. I can't do this. This is hard. It hurts. Why are you making me DO this? What is the point of all this nonsense? Are you crazy? This is next to impossible. Ouch, I pulled a muscle. Don't ever ask me to do this again."

After each person had a turn, and without further explanation, the hostess went on to a new game. Later, as the women sat around sipping punch and eating cake, the hostess announced she had a list of comments to read that the bride might say on her wedding night. There was lots of cake snorting and punch spewing.

Bridal showers, women, education practices (and my writing) have come a long way.

Now, I challenge you to share one thing with me that has always been of interest to you that you have/have not pursued but would like to. Go crazy!

10 comments:

Bookie said...

Blogger is not letting me leave comments today anywhere. I am trying a different loop. LEts see if this works.

Bookie said...

Okay,...I am glad to hear you are reaching...that you are writing some new.
I am stiffled at moment...household in turmoil with ladders and such. It is snowing here to beat the band...guess you know what I think of that in November!!!! One thing that I have always mulled over was a novel written in letters only...but I never tried...yet anyway.

Tammy said...

The world is lucky you think outside the box, Linda. It's one of the things that makes you such a wonderful writer. I've always wanted to snorkel or scuba dive. I got to do the former a few years ago. I'm claustrophobic, so those first few breaths were very hard, but once I took the risk, it was wonderful.

Merlesworld said...

I've got to think about this I might come back with a answer.
Merle..........

Val said...

I have always been fascinated with medieval castles. I don't want to own one, or get on a plane to England/Wales/Scotland to walk through one, but a detailed virtual tour with pertinent facts would be great.

Daisy said...

Good luck with your submission. I hope it sells. When I was younger I played piano, but I haven't played for years. I am thinking of taking it up again because I did enjoy it way back then.

Susan said...

Hi Linda....
Well, I've always wanted to have a booth in a good quality flea market....stock it with pretty thrift store and estate and yard sale finds.
I'd also like to open a dental clinic for poor people but that would take money. And, alas, money evades me. Thanks for the cute post. Susan

Debra Mayhew said...

Okay, I had this meaningful, serious comment to make about taking away recess and how awful that is, but then I got to your bridal shower story and am laughing to hard to remember anything else! Very funny!

Janet, said...

Wonderful post. I bet your submission will get picked, you are a great writer. A vacuum cleaner that dispenses orange juice sounds pretty neat. Okay, at different times in my life I have wanted to be a teacher, archeologist or have my own little library. And, I would love to have my own little museum for people to come visit and enjoy things of the past.

Lisa Claro said...

That sounds like a great submission. Be sure to let us celebrate with you when your acceptance shows up!

I love the bridal shower story! Still laughing, and will have to remember that for when one of my daughters ties the knot!