on a whim…

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in career, writing | 0 comments

Right before Halloween, I happened upon a tweet about a writing contest. It was sponsored by MeeGenius!, a reading app for kids. I recognized the app – we have it on our iPad and my iPhone – so I decided to click into it and check it out. They were looking for children’s e-book manuscripts where the winner would have their book published on the MeeGenius! platform. The kicker? Entry deadline was less than a week away! It sounded fun, but I didn’t have anything started, I had never tried to write anything for kids, and I figured that I would have slim to no chance, so I moved on.

But something about it stuck in my mind, because I had been thinking about ways to talk to Madi about the concept of “identity” for a while. We had been writing about identity over at MomColoredGlasses, and it is something that I have personally wrestled with over the years. But how do you teach a kid that it matters who you are, not what you do? I wasn’t sure, but as I thought more about it, a narrative started to take shape in my mind. Nothing fancy, just a little conversation between a mom and a daughter, attempting to capture the essence of what I wanted to tell Madi.

Over the next week, I scribbled phrases on scraps of paper and notes on my phone, pulled it together in time to submit it with about 15 minutes to spare, and then promptly forgot about it. But yesterday, I found out that my little 10 page manuscript made it to the first round of voting…along with 400 other stories. I’m sure that most of the entries “made it”, but it was still a thrill…and slightly terrifying that other people were actually going to read it other than Ben and my Mom.

So now, I have two weeks to try and rustle up enough votes to propel me into the “finals”. I’m not quite sure what that means, because it feels a little weird and uncomfortable, even though I feel good about what I wrote. But whether it goes any farther or not, I’m glad to put it on the “things I’ve done on a whim” list and glad that I sat down and put words to something that I want to make sure I communicate to my kids.

Do you have something you want to say to your kids..now or someday? I would challenge you to write it down. Think it through and sort out your own thoughts on it so that when the time comes, you are prepared. It’s powerful…

And oh yeah…you can check out my story here, and if you like it, feel free to vote for me!

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