Friday, December 20, 2019

N is for Nature

I was surprised when Mom announced she was writing a story. She’s a regular book reader but… wow.

It’s an easy reader; a picture book, so far without pictures.

I digged the idea. The story mom lives on a farm and takes her three young kids on a nature hike pointing out all the signs that the seasons are on the cusp of change.

I was later surprised when she asked me to partner with her; to give the piece an edit or a re-write. I said sure.

My take on it is that the elder boy (still very young) is impatient for the wet snowy weather to depart so that he can ride his new bike without such hindrances. He despairs that winter might never go away. Mom and older sis wish to prove that it will, by demonstrating that the transformation has already begun.

I needed there to be a problem to solve. Though I know, academically that most of my adult fiction priorities hold little weight in a kids’ environment, it’s hard to deny my artist instincts. And in similar regard, I’m likely employing too much subtlety.

It’s a surprisingly slow process. As the family navigates the evidence of hibernation rituals, bird migration, river flows and even Grandpa’s maple syrup production, I find myself immersed in research at every step. I want all the science (and there’s a lot of it) to stand up.

I don’t presume to be a competent kids writer or that I ever will be. I just don’t know. I hope Mom will not be overly deferential toward my robust rewrite.

No comments: