Writing the small stuff may lead to something bigger

by Dixie Thomas Reale

How can I find time to do serious writing when nuisance writing chores keep copping up?

Just because you aren’t working on the great American Novel or some epic poem doesn’t mean you should not do your best when writing whatever you need to write. Many day to day opportunities come along that require you to write something — a few well-chosen words to mark an occasion — a wedding toast, a baby’s christening, a friend’s birthday.

Most of these events are no big deal and you can often get by with a few sentences, but if you craft your toast or comments well enough, and allow your creativity free reign — who knows what masterpiece might evolve from your words?

I had an opportunity recently. My daughter got married in Australia to an Australian fellow. I wanted to mark the occasion with some well-crafted words so decided to write a toast for the reception.

I asked the mother of the groom for information about his childhood. Then I listed out details from my daughter’s childhood.

They both had some interesting events listed and I played around with the idea of one child growing up in America while the other grew up in Australia. I needed a creative way to draw them together in adulthood so they could marry. Having them think about and long for one another before they met was just too hokey.

Then I got an idea and settled on two wild puppies. One was a girl coyote who grew up at the top of the world near the Yellowstone Volcano; the other was a boy dingo from Down Under who grew up near Ayres rock. With my make believe baby dogs I could get as fanciful as I wanted.

So, I had fun. She sang with her pack into the lava tubes in the Craters of the Moon and he howled with his mates across the Outback. The puppies didn’t know about one another, but heard the other’s singing coming back to them from the deepest part of their respective caves. Soon they were meeting every night to sing together — he in limestone caves on the Outback and she in lava tubes on the Snake River Plain

He invited her down under. She caught a ride on the back of a giant bird. They fell in love, married and lived happily ever after.

Once I finished the toast I liked it so much I decided to revise it slightly, add illustrations and use it for a children’s book.

If I had not labored over that toast I would not have my children’s story. So don’t knock the small stuff. It may evolve into something great that you can use elsewhere.

Now, let’s see what I can do with the grocery list.

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