Monday, March 5, 2012

Off the Beaten Path

I've been working with my wonderful creativity consultant, poet Molly Fisk, for a few sessions now. After decades of writing my books as the "good girl" who follows all the children's book writing rules, I want to see if I can walk on the wilder side - not so much BREAK rules, but not even THINK about them. You may remember that my goal for the writing year is to write "a book that surprises me."

Molly suggested the following exercise. Block off a free weekend. Take $200. Get in your car. Start driving. See where you go. Don't look at a map. Don't have a destination in mind. Let the open road beckon. Follow where it sends you.

Isn't that the most wonderful assignment EVER?

The problem is that while I have the $200, I don't have the free weekend. But, driving home from Cincinnati on Saturday from the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics conference, I did have a free day. So I turned off the interstate as soon as I crossed the state line from Ohio back into Indiana. And I did peek at the map - I had to. But then I did just drive west, and north, knowing that was the general direction in which home lay.

I didn't have my camera with me, alas - this is the downside of spontaneity. But the upside was stopping in the little town of Mematora, IN, site of a historic canal dating from 1838. Almost all the little shops were closed for the season. But the one that was open - oh, my!!!

Grannie's Cookie Jars & Ice Cream Parlor has in it 2500 (!) cookie jars of all descriptions, meticulously sorted into a dazzling array of categories: dogs, cats, bears, cows, pigs, geese, chickens, little houses, little teashops, teapots - cookie jars shaped like purses, like thimbles, like toasters with toast popping out, like cookies. The one I bought is shaped like a teapot. I almost bought one shaped like a little duck to be friends with the one I already bought back in January at the Kokomo Treasure Mart, which is shaped like a goose.

So if I end up writing a book in which cookie jars figure prominently, well, I certainly didn't expect THAT. So THAT would be a book that would surprise me!

1 comment:

  1. May your new cookie jar be filled with magic and story wonder and all things lovely.