I was walking through the park with my son the other day and he was so excited to run through the grass and look for dandelion seeds. Except he didn’t call them that, he called them “blowing stones.” He may be behind verbally, but he comes up with some really interesting ways of describing things. Dandelion seeds are round like stones and you blow on them – blowing stones. Duh Mom. Of course. Naturally, I’ve forgotten the other interesting descriptions he’s made. Oh well.
So I was watching him and it struck me how innocent children are. When did adults lose their innocence? When did we stop feeling the joy of simply running through the park? Playing hide and seek behind trees and look for flowers to make flower chains? Run for the sheer joy of running till your out of breath and then throwing yourself down onto the grass?
I cringe when he does that last part because all I think when I see him throw himself on the ground is,
Rotten people don’t pick up after their rotten dogs.
Scoop the Poop, People! So kids can play in the park without worrying about stepping or lying down in a pile of dung.
When I could finally tear him away from this wonderful park of scarce trees and a never-ending expanse of grass containing hidden treasures of dog poop, I sat down to write a new flash fiction story entitled “The Blowing Stones.” I wanted it to convey the wonder and innocence of childhood and how we somehow lose it as we grow into adulthood. Considering how often I was interrupted by that same annoying little boy I marveled at merely 10 minutes before, I don’t think I succeeded in my goal. But I’ll read it over later and try again. That kind of writing really isn’t my forte but I’m trying to expand my boundaries.
Everyone should try to break out of their box. I’m going to start giving out weekly challenges. Anyone who wants to try them can. I’m going to practice what I preach and try them myself as well. Next Sunday I’ll report on how well it went.
- Break out of your box and write something you wouldn’t normally try. It doesn’t have to be long. Maybe you’ve never tried poetry so write a poem. Maybe you’re used to writing horror like me so try to write a different genre or go genre-less. Only write contemporary? Try literary. Only write fiction? Go for non-fiction. What you try is up to you. Anything goes.
Whatever you do, have fun with it!