by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador
It’s hard to believe a year has passed for two important milestones in my life. One was life-changing in more ways than I am even able to share. It changed my heart, my soul and my worldview. The other was life-changing, in that it started moving me in a new direction in my writing. One year ago Destined-To-Be-A-Musician grandson debuted, dark eyes open and ready to take on the world. I’ve also been doing my Write Anywhere venues for almost 52 weeks, and I’ve met many awesome people and learned a lot about myself. This week’s venue combined these two passions with a fun result.
Write Anywhere #51: Swingset
I was running errands and realized I was too early for my first appointment. I could sit in the parking lot and wait for a half hour or I could enjoy the cool of the early morning at a local park. I chose the latter. Deserted swings blowing in the breeze tempted me out of my car to do something I haven’t done in many years.
Swinging on a swing (besides being good exercise) is very freeing. I couldn’t help but smile as I got the swing to fly higher despite its large occupant. Workers from an office across from the park gave me some quizzical looks and I waved a hello in return. They hurried off, thinking they didn’t want to have an encounter with the crazy lady on the swing.
In the past I would have been worried about what people thought of me in that type of situation, but after almost a half century of giving energy to that, I have realized it’s wasted energy. Better to use it on something worthwhile, like writing a story!
A black swallowtail butterfly floated by, and I followed it with my eyes as it went past a large tree with a hollow near the roots. I thought about DTBAM and the fun we’ll have as he grows, swinging and playing and doing all sorts of things that grandsons and their grandmothers do together.
I thought about when my children were small, which seems like just a few days ago and a million years ago at the same time, and how we used to make up bedtime stories together. They were called ‘And Then’ stories because I would give a scenario, say the magic words “and then…” and three imaginations went to work trying to come up with the most outrageous next step in the plot and be the first to shout it out.
This maelstrom of thinking, remembering and swinging gave me the idea for a new generation of ‘And Then’ stories. Here’s what I came up with:
One day DTBAM, BAM for short, went to the park with his mommy and daddy. They liked to go to parks and always had a lot of fun. This day they found a new park to play at. BAM climbed on the monkey bars, slid down the slide, and let Daddy push him in the swing. When Daddy and Mommy were tired of playing, because Daddies and Mommies need breaks sometimes, BAM went exploring around the little park.
He chased a butterfly he had never seen before. It was black as night with glowing eyes on each of its wings. It flew up in the air and around the swings. BAM tried to catch it, but it was too fast for him. The butterfly flew around a tree with a big hollow at the bottom. The hollow was surrounded by twisted roots. Before BAM knew it, the butterfly had flown into the hollow and disappeared.
BAM climbed up a little hill to the tree and got on his knees to peek into the hollow. And then…
he looked in and to his surprise a pink armadillo curled up at the back of the hole opened one eye and said “Hello, friend!”
BAM was surprised, but taught by his Mommy and Daddy to always be polite to others, said “Hello, I’m BAM. What’s your name?”
“I’m Armey, and I am the elevator operator.”
“Nice to meet you, Armey. Why are you in this tree if you’re an elevator operator?” Armey uncurled himself and with his long scaley tail pushed a shiny red button stuck in the bark of the tree. And then…
an elevator opened out of the bark. It was made of shiny metal and had squares of armor on the doors.
“Going up?” Armey asked BAM.
BAM loved elevators and the way they made his belly feel sloshy, so he got right in. Armey pushed the button with his tail again. Steam filled the air as the doors closed. The elevator went up and BAM’s belly went sloshy. And then…
the doors opened to a dock. A hot air balloon covered with blue and silver sequins sat tied to the dock. BAM hopped inside and then…
the hot air balloon floated away. BAM could see the park, and his mommy and daddy resting on a bench. The butterfly he chased earlier floated nearby, and then another, and then another butterfly floated with the balloon until there was a flock of butterflies and BAM could hear the wind on their velvety wings. And then…
he heard a squawk and the butterflies disappeared. The shadow of a bird reflected off the sequins, and then…
BAM saw the biggest bird he ever saw land on the balloon. The bird had an orange pointy bill and purple feathers, and it started eating the sequins, one by one. And then…
the balloon went down, down, down, and BAM’s belly went sloshy again and the balloon landed on the biggest fluffiest chair BAM had ever seen. BAM loved chairs, especially the kind that rocked, and he climbed out of the balloon and snuggled in the corner of the chair for a few minutes. And then…
he looked up to see a giant looking down at him. The giant had bushy eyebrows and a bristly beard just like his grandpa.
“You’re just in time for pancakes,” the giant said, smiling down at BAM. “Would you like to help me cook them?” BAM was delighted to help the giant, because he helped his mommy in her kitchen and he loved pancakes. “First we have to butter the griddle,” said the giant. He strapped two boots made of butter to BAM’s feet and lifted him onto the griddle. And then…
BAM skated back and forth across the griddle, melting his buttery boots. When the butter boots were almost gone, the giant lifted BAM off the griddle and put him back in the snuggly rocking chair. He poured the batter and they waited together for fluffy pancakes.
The giant was very polite and offered BAM the first pancake. BAM could only eat a few bites because the pancake was as big as his daddy. BAM started to get sleepy when his belly was full, and wanted to take a nap. He wanted to go back to the park with his mommy and daddy but he didn’t know how to get there. And then…
the giant began to tell BAM all about making pancakes, how to mix the ingredients, and the right amount of maple syrup to put on them.
“Pardon me,” he said to the giant, because his mommy and daddy said to be polite when interrupting adults, and this giant was most certainly an adult. “How do I get back to the park and my mommy and daddy?”
The giant chuckled, which seemed like thunder and made BAM jump.
“Of course, you have to take the maple syrup train!” The giant walked BAM to the train station, and then…
he rode the Maple Syrup Express with the train engineer’s children. The engineer had a dozen children, and BAM played tag with them on the train until they reached the Rainbow Fountain stop.
BAM got off the train, waved goodbye and stood at the edge of the Rainbow Fountain. He read a sign that said ‘Step here for the elevator‘. BAM stepped onto what he thought was a surfboard. And then…
the surfboard rose up out of the water and was not a surfboard at all but was instead a dolphin wearing a fedora.
“Hold on to my hat!” squeaked the dolphin, and the fountain squirted upward.
BAM held his breath, and his belly got sloshy again. Before he knew it the fountain had squirted BAM and the dolphin high into the air and BAM was back at the elevator doors at the top of the tree. BAM thanked the dolphin, because it’s only polite to say thank you when a dolphin gives you a ride, and got in the elevator. And then…
BAM’s belly was sloshy once more. There stood Armey the pink armadillo at the bottom of the elevator ride.
“Did you have a nice trip?” asked Armey.
“Why, yes I did,” said BAM. BAM waved goodbye to Armey, and then he ducked out of the hollow in the tree, ran down the hill and into the arms of his mommy and daddy who were done resting on the park bench.
They all got in their car and drove home. BAM took a nap on the drive, dreaming of balloons and rainbow fountains and pancakes.
Thanks for indulging me in my silly story. I had a lot of fun making it up. I hope DTBAM enjoys it once he is old enough to understand such things.
Where did you write this week?
Question: Have you ever made up stories for your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews? What was your most interesting character?
Next Friday is the Big Day! The one year anniversary celebration of Write Anywhere venues on kristin nador writes anywhere. Here are the details: I’ll be posting all the specifics for the first annual Write Anywhere giveaway contest in next Friday’s Write Anywhere venue post. The giveaway contest will be active for one week, so check in to find out what the prizes are and what to do to give yourself a chance to win. The contest will be for those who live in the U.S. and Canada, sorry if you are outside that area.
Besides interacting in the blog comments, you can also join us on Friday (August 24th, 2012) from 10 am to 6 pm Central Time on Twitter for a virtual party on hashtag #writeanywhere. We’ll talk, share virtual cocktails and buffet (bring and share your favorite virtual foods!), and celebrate the writing journey. Please share this with all your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all the social sharing buttons below this post. Thanks so much for your support and I’m looking forward to “seeing” you next week!
Writer working on debut historical fiction, love truth, cats, tea, beaches and sarcasm as an art form. I'm a recovering pessimist. I blog about creativity, the writing journey, social media and have a weekly 'write anywhere' challenge.