As part of my participation in My 500 words, I am posting what I write each day.
Yesterday, I told about the birth of a story idea. After telling the story to Naomi one traumatic night, then trying to write it a few years later, it sat dormant for another year or so. Then came a time when I worked construction and Prajna wasn’t home in the evenings. I had no trouble putting the kids to bed and one of my favorite things was to read to them in the evening. Even though I loved the picture books and would read at least three at bedtime, I wanted to do more. So I started making up a story to tell them each night.
I was a land surveyor by day, and the construction site I worked at had scrapers, huge, yellow machines with twin engines that would drive in circles picking up dirt and then putting it back somewhere else. I had noticed how anthropomorphic they were, bending at the mid-section to turn and when they got stuck. I imagined great dinosaur-like creatures running in circles, first eating, then voiding. And that became part of my story.
I don’t remember a whole lot more of that story I told. Aside from the yellow dinosaurs, there was a pirate ship, and all the water in the world was invisible. The ship seemed to float on nothing and the kid hero was able to walk on ice that he couldn’t see when he had enough faith. My kids loved the story and I loved telling it. It took a week or so to tell, and when it was done, I promised them another story.
I thought about the story I had told Naomi a few years back. I wanted to resurrect that. There would be a castle with spires that reached the clouds and a little girl that lived there. I don’t know where the title came from, but it rose to the surface of my consciousness. I told my kids that the next night I would begin to tell them the story of The Snowdrop Princess.
A little girl named Kalista, who was a princess, had to move with her family from the seashore to the mountains. Before she left, she collected seawater and sand in a jar to take with her. Their new home was a great castle set into the hills with towers that disappeared into the sky. Kalista spent her days exploring the castle, but was lonely. The paintings on the wall seemed to be so lifelike, especially one of a little girl about her age.
From what I remember of the story, the paintings came to life. The little girl in the painting was The Snowdrop Princess, and they became best friends. Kalista had adventures in the castle, but there was some kind of monster, I don’t remember what. Kalista finally vanquished it by throwing her jar of sand and seawater at it.
The story took a few weeks to tell. When it was done, I was very pleased and the kids had loved it. I told them the next story was called The Space Kids. I started it, but for some reason, never got more than a few installments in and it never came to life like the first two stories.
I had a fondness for those stories that I had basically made up as I went. I should have taken the time to write them down, at least some outlines, but I didn’t. I was in one of the dark times of my life.
Moving forward in time again, I finally got back into writing. As I wrote, more story ideas came. I completed NaNoWriMo two years in a row and at the end of last year, began to ponder what to do next. I had about three ideas I was working around, none were what I ended up fixing on. Something happened in the middle of the year that inspired me.