When I was little I used to read furtively in bed. Now I am big, I still read in bed. My son (still quite little) likes to test boundaries regularly and I discovered the reason that he was tired in the morning recently. Instead of reading – he’d been reminded to stop – he had been furtively writing in bed, using a broken purple wax crayon and a small note pad. Yes, I thought; all the best ideas do line up creatively at your head office just when you want to sleep.I applauded his creativity and am impressed that he had to do it, but have taken the purple crayon away and told him that there are better times to write stories (even though I am not sure there are). Here is what he had written, in his ‘diery’:
I am on a jurny to a mountin. it is clld Joeleenya. it is going to be daindres. I don’t noa what Will hapoon.
it is amaizing up on the mounting. i’m in a tent on the mounting. I can see a voacainoa urupting and sumbody dropd a gun. I hav the gun it is amaizing.
[Joe’s toy dogs] runner and charlly ar with me. I roso [also] found the seecroot treser it looks brileeoont.
I think this story gives us a good insight into the mind of the writer. He has an interest in fearless exploring, volcanoes, guns and treasure. I wonder if I should expand his story for fun. I think the tale is still unfinished, the characters need fleshing out and there are some plot holes, but with a little work we could get a beginning (why was he on the journey?), a fuller middle and a satisfying end (or perhaps a cliff-hanger). Why was the gun there? How do the dogs fit into the story? What do we know about the protagonist and how do we learn about him?
Perhaps my son has something to teach me. Maybe I should keep a notepad and a wax crayon by my bed, instead of just a tower of books I’m working through. Who knows what exciting new adventures will emerge if I do?