I know I said yesterday I didn’t want to get political here, but I was pretty much all over the inauguration today so where else am I going to get my inspiration from.
And today, after Trump’s speech, a Rabbi stood up and spoke (I wish I could remember his name to give him proper credit) and spoke of the idea that it’s not our job to finish something. Some things are too big for us to see to completion. But it is our job to continue the effort and move that thing forward for the next person to carry on. And that gave me an image to start with.
A character finds him/herself on a road. It doesn’t matter how s//he got there. Perhaps they don’t know themselves. But they’re on the road and they’re continuing on this road until s/he comes to the point where the road stops. It’s not the end. It’s clearly just not complete. The character can see there’s further to go, but this is as far as the road has gotten.
The character has three options: 1) Go back. 2)Stay there. 3) Go on. The character wants to go on. There’s so much further to go and so much promise up ahead. So the character picks up work on the road where it was left off.
Perhaps others follow and pick up a shovel as well. But that’s the idea where it is now. Incomplete, but further to go.
I don’t want to get into politics with these ideas, so I won’t get too deep into this. I’ll just say I read about a letter written by George W. Bush, left for Barack Obama when he came in to take the Oval Office. And there are a few lines I really loved.
- “Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.”
- “There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your ‘friends’ will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.”
And also a line from the letter from Bill Clinton to Bush.
- “The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.”
And that’s a children’s book right. A little Oh the Places You Will Go meets I Wish You More meets The Wonderful Things You Will Be.
Maybe a whole book written in the words of Presidents about how you (children) have the world in front of you. Do your best. We all know you can.
Twice today I heard this idea of doing something that puts you in the annals of history. Something that will stand the test of time alongside the other titans of that trade. Otherwise known as a legacy.
I think a lot of people think about their legacy. Whether it’s a personal legacy or just wanting to leave the world a better place than how they found it. But that’s getting too preachy. After it’s broken down, it’s simply about leaving something behind.
Can a child understand that concept? Of leaving something behind, either because someone before him/her left something behind for him/her, or because we just can’t carry everything with us, or because we want someone to have something we got a lot out of, or because we just want to be remembered.
A lot of options there. And this is too deep to start digging into. I’ll just find myself 1,000 feet deep and still digging. So I’m inclined to make it incredibly simple and just have a child go somewhere and purposefully leave something behind for another who would get benefit out of. Stay out of the child’s head completely. Leave it up to the reader to decide why.
I was thinking today about going back to some old manuscripts that didn’t come out the way I had hoped when I was telling myself how brilliant it was during the planning phase. I mean, every time I still there’s some good stuff there when I think about it, but they failed… Well, they actually never got the chance to fail because I didn’t give them a chance.
So today’s idea is about someone who meets every challenge, and passes. This someone already decided s/he doesn’t have what it takes to succeed, so s/he doesn’t try…
I don’t have the ending, though…
Ah, forget it. I can’t figure this one out.
This one is easy. There’s not much to it. All I wanted to do today was think of a unique way to tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr.
There’s the story of MLK himself, or a story about being defined by character.
The idea I had today is a story about a story being judged by its characters, not by its cover.
I don’t have any story behind today’s story. Nothing really inspired this idea, I just thought of it.
I want to tell a story about “after.” What do you do after something amazing comes to an end? You can keep going, build on what came before, or you could take a nap.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a break to recharge. And sometimes, after you reached the pinnacle, and you worked hard to get there, and the next step if you want to go higher from there is going to be very difficult, taking a break is necessary and earned.
So after someone does something impressive, there’s a lot of pressure concerning the next step. What will this someone do next? All the possibilities are laid before this someone. And the person announces that the next day, everyone will know what this someone is going to do next.
Everyone gathers around this someone’s house the next day, and they wait. What will this amazing someone do next? What’s it going to be? It could be anything. Can’t wait to find out.
And inside, someone is sleeping in.
The Big Top is coming down. Ringling Bros. circus is coming to an end. Now I’ve never been to the circus. Never wanted to. I didn’t go for the clowns, and I stayed away for the animal treatment. But I am nostalgic. And something that has gone for 146 years is coming to an end, and I’d want to mark it. In a few years, the stories will be all we have.
So to celebrate the circus, I’d like to focus on the performers. The gymnasts and tightrope walkers. These are talented folk, and the story I would like to tell is about a child training to walk the tightrope. It’s the theme of hard work and determination and what it takes to do something incredibly difficult. And the tightrope seems like a great way to show how hard work can pay off in increments. From getting a few feet further across the rope, to raising rope a few more feet off the ground.
And then, when the child nails the tight rope, s/he puts the unicycle on the wire. Because you always have to keep challenging yourself. And keep going to see how wild and fun it can get.
It’s Friday the 13th. Of course there has to be a story idea about a curse today.
I like the idea of a curse gone wrong. What if Friday the 13th is unlucky for a witch as well?
What if a witch, so upset with the way she’s treated around Friday the 13th, puts a curse on the village to make them regret their behavior towards her.
“This curse will make them change the way they treat me!”
But it’s Friday the 13th, the unluckiest day of the year, and the curse backfires. Now, everything she planned to happen to others happens to her.
The people of the village see the witch suffering with the worst case of bad luck, and they feel awful for her. So they all decide to pitch in and help her out. And so the curse actually does change the way they treat the witch, but not exactly in the way she intended.
But thanks to this, the witch and the villagers enjoy a more friendly relationship from then on.
Happy Friday the 13th.
I don’t how I’ve been doing something for 11 days and then almost completely forgot about it today. But I have a half hour left, so here’s a very quick thought to that 12th day’s idea in:
I mentioned I was sick early in the week. It was a particularly nasty bug that has been through about 80% of my family, and is still making its way through. So what if the nasty bug was a real Nasty Bug. It lands on someone and makes them irritated. They come in contact with someone else, and they’re acting irritated because of the Nasty Bug on them, and the Nasty Bug then jumps onto this someone else and irritates them.
So the Nasty Bug goes from person to person, irritating them, and the irritation goes from person to person as well.
Until finally this Nasty Bug is met with kindness, and turns into butterfly and flies off, sprinkling joy over all the irritated people left in its path.
Get it? Kindness is the medicine.
What time is it? We’re good on time. Idea 12 is in the bag.
Still going strong with Storystorm… Relatively strong… I’m doing it, okay. 30 story ideas in 30 days.
I had my Day 11 idea, but I feel like it’s too didactic. I need to think about it some more.
The idea is very simple. It’s a little A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals. It’s about a class of kids at recess and they’re splitting up for teams. And they split up like a game of Guess Who?
First, the vast majority of kids say no red heads on their team.
Then the majority of the remaining group says no glasses.
Those left say no lefties.
And so on and so on. And with every criteria, whoever doesn’t fall into it is all for it, until it’s their turn to fall.
Until finally there’s one kid left. And there’s no “one kid” in team.
The game is ruined because there is no team, because… no two people are exactly alike and trying to fill a team with only people the same as you leaves you alone and a loser?
Too didactic, I think. Yeah, I need to keep thinking.