January 20, 2011

snow day

Today, we're going to take a break from your usual programming, and in lieu of a somewhat educational, writerly type post, this will be somewhat personal. Read on at your own risk.

Even though I'm grown, and I no longer get the satisfaction of no school on snow days, I still have to fight the urge to go build a snowman. I want to make snow ice-cream, build an igloo, and just go outside and play. Unfortunately, I am at home by myself, and my dog hates snow.

I need children. Then I'll have an excuse to be excited about snow again. And Legos. And Hot Wheels. I need children so that I can acceptably see children's movies and not look creepy, so that I can be excited about summer vacation, and so I can build an effing tree-house.

There is something just magical about being a child. I feel bad for people who had rotten childhoods, or don't remember how better the world was as a child. I feel bad for children who can only think of how much they want to be adults. They don't understand that you only get to be a child once. I'm extending my stay as best I can.

When I was little, I spent my summers and afternoons at my grandparents house. They lived on a couple acres of land with a creek running through it. My grandfather had a shop full of all sorts of old stuff that we weren't allowed to touch (we did anyway). My cousins and I had four-wheelers to ride around on. We built several shoddy tree-houses. We built a go-cart, danced to music in the carport, and filmed family documentaries. We shelled peas, picked plums, and husked corn. We explored the seemingly vast woods next to my grandparents' land.

In those woods, we became new people. We weren't just kids. We were explorers. We were hunters, war veterans, velociraptors, injuns, and kings and queens. It was amazing how we shed our identities when we entered the woods. It was those times at my grandparents' house that I remember best as a child, and it's those memories that I'm trying my best to keep alive.

I write for children because I am a child. I remember the magic of stumbling upon a hidden world of make-believe. Now that I'm grown, I can recreate that magic. I can build the worlds I wished existed when I was a child. I can create the people I would have befriended and those I would have fought against. I can save the world.

My writing exists as a window into other worlds. That's the truth of it.

Of course, I would love to sell that window so that other people can experience it too. I would love to make a living from writing. But in all reality, the stories I write don't exist for a publisher's pocketbook; they don't exist for readers.

The fantasies I write exist for me. And I think that's what is most important.


  1. You've brought up so many memories for me! My grandparents had a great house with tons of woods too. So many different battles! I was always "Queen of Nature" that had to defend my realm from intruders (brothers).

    I write for the same reasons. I need a window. And I read for that same reason too.

    Great post.

  2. Emily McIntyre1/20/2011 02:00:00 PM

    It's true, Brooke, and something which which I have been grappling with lately as well. If I never receive another cent from my writing, will I still write? And after much soul-searching and a sigh of relief, I have to say yes. You go, girl! Read the children's books and make your snow angels! And keep writing your stories.

  3. You know what I say???...just get out there and make that snowman....enjoy your life the way you want. If people look at you in the movie theater, just wait for it to come on DVD. Keep writing from your heart and someday we will all see through your window!

  4. Why wait for kids? Just build the men.

    Great post and love the look of your blog.


  5. Thanks all for the comments!

    @BookGeek, I'm glad I could bring such good memories back ;)

    @Emily, I think that's a good, comfortable place to be in your writing. It shows you're passionate and aren't going to give up on it just because you aren't earning out.

  6. I don't see why you need any excuse for acting like a child as an adult. I wish more adults did so. To lose all sense of excitement and wonder at the world would be a horrible thing. I hope I (and you) never meet that fate.

    I spent a lot of my childhood wishing or trying to be an adult, but at the same time, there were forts and dress-up and stories about the wild areas near my house. I was never social enough to have the big group adventures you did, but I still had that sort of imagination. And I write fantasy and science fiction because I'm still questioning the world, questioning assumptions, and wondering at life. I'd love to be published so I can share all that, but like you, the stories are for me first and foremost.