During the summer months, my children enjoy exploring theme weeks. We plan some activities and at least one adventure around topics they are interested in. This summer, we are learning about different parts of Earth and space. We had a packed week along with some family friends learning about space: learning each of the planets (I still say Pluto is a regular planet, darn it), making rocket snacks, putting on alien temporary tattoos, and producing a space movie. This week we’ve been learning about the oceans.
Earlier in the week, we joined some friends at a local beach on a lake. It was lovely – much sandier than most lake beaches I’ve been to. The kids and I talked about how a lake is different than an ocean: salt water, tides, waves, etc.
Today we visited the real thing – the ocean. The kids were beside themselves with excitement. We spent the morning playing in the waves, making sand castles, and generally getting sand everywhere a body can hide it.
On the drive back, as I peeked at my two sleeping angels (As hyper as they are, they really do look like angels when they’re asleep. That is, if angels snore.), I thought about our adventures for the week.
So here’s the metaphor for this week: writing stories can be like water. Fundamentally, it is still water wherever you find it, but it feels different depending on what form it takes. Your story might be a picture book, or a middle grade novel, or a short story, but in each of these forms the story feels different, as the ocean feels different than a lake.
My first middle grade novel has just finished a big revision cycle, and once Joanna can read it, it’s off to some agents. Let’s hope some lucky agent likes oceans as much as I do.