Friday, June 13, 2014

Waking my Creative Self on an Imaginary Tractor Ride

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
"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? 


  1. Whuut? Nine hours of sleep? Uninterrupted? That's crazy talk! (Where do I sign up?)

    1. Cathy - It's really easy. What you want to do is run the kids ragged for 3 to 4 weeks. If possible, schedule a dance recital, visits by both grandparents, kindergarten show, 7 birthday parties, and some vaccinations for good measure. Then miraculously the entire house will fall asleep at 7:30 one night and not wake up til the morning. Warning though on karma - I had to pay for that night of sleep by getting a sore throat now. Still totally worth it.

  2. I want to take that tractor ride! Sounds awesome!

    1. It was! Funny thing is, I didn't even know my daughter knew how to drive a tractor. Maybe they teach that now in these days!

  3. Lol-funny as usual, Lauri! I think the lack of sleep keeps my creative mind awake due to delirium.

    1. Is it ever going to go away? Will I one day sleep through the night regularly? Because I paid dearly for that one night of sleep with 8 consecutive nights of sleep interruptions.

  4. Replies
    1. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Why just today during a playdate we reenacted the entire movie Frozen. I played the parts of the trolls, Hans, Kristoff, Dad, and was the sub when Olaf wandered off.

  5. Kids are an amazing source of inspiration, aren't they?

    But don't ever hug a hippo; they're greasy.

    1. Greasy? Really. I wouldn't have guessed that. Prickly-hairy-flabby would have been my guess.

    2. Nope. They have this reddish, slimy built in sunscreen that oozes from their pores. I'd much rather hug a rhino.


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