My kids hosted an inspiration session yesterday for me which was much needed to break up the routine of prepping for the NJSCBWI conference in two weeks (squee!!) Sometimes my anal-nerdy-financial-analytic self takes over, and I make binders, research agents, prepare my journal, etc. These steps are important, but if I forget to feed my creative self before a conference, well then it's all for naught.
I was sitting in the living room, minding my business, when I realized I was on a tractor ride.
"You should buckle up," my 4yo said. "Can you do it by yourself?"
"Um, yep. Click. Click. Hmph. I can't get this last buckle." I had slept 9 hours the night before for the first time in months, so I put a little more into my role play than usual.
"I'll help you. Click. See? It was easy." 4yos have a way of letting you know you've been condescending in the past.
"Thank you. Where are we heading?"
"To see the hippos, of course." She opened her Ranger Rick magazine to show me. "They like water."
Tractors and African animals weren't connected in my mind, but why not.
|"How about a big hug?"|
(by sveres via freeimages.com)
"I think I'd like to hug a hippo. Unless he was yawning."
"If I had to kiss a shark, I'd kiss him on the cheek not on the lips," she said still using Ranger Rick as tour support.
After visiting three animals, I had to unbuckle and grab some paper.
"Remember when we saw these ca-coons in Mexico?" (she meant raccoons to refer to the coatis, but ain't she cute?)
"I have zebras on my farm."
"Slow down, sweetie. Mommy can't write down all these ideas that fast."
"Here comes a bump," she said and threw a pillow at me, which caused a chain reaction of spilling coffee and the ideas-in-marker bleeding across the page.
But it didn't matter. She had woken my creative brain.
And I learned a valuable lesson about drinking coffee on tractor rides through animal sanctuaries.
How do you keep your creative mind awake through all the not-so-creative tasks which publishing involves?