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  • Lately, I’ve had an interest in finding a group to evaluate my writing. As I thought about submitting a piece, my inner child appeared. It felt like I was about to share a cherished stuffed animal with a playmate and just as I was ready to hand it over I changed my mind and pulled it away. I’m the baby taking her first steps, collapsing on the floor, pulling myself up and waddling forward again while giggling with delight at this new discovery - I can propel myself forward!

    What I need is a supportive voice and a pair of eager, outstretched arms encouraging me to push myself a few steps farther until I fall exhausted but excited into a soft, warm and loving lap where my efforts are celebrated. What I don’t need, and too often had, is an authoritative voice suggesting that I lead off on my other foot and steady myself by extending my arms out from my sides. What I don’t need is someone inching farther and farther back as I try to reach them, someone, who when I fall to the floor tells me to get up and try again. I can do better.

    Right now, I’m still giggling with delight over the discovery that just like with wooden building blocks, I can build things with words. By moving the blocks around, a road becomes a bridge, a fence or a tower. By moving the words around a line becomes a poem, a story or an essay. I can add colors, paint pictures and make a garden where the birds sing and flowers bloom. I’m excited. It’s all new and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

    When my tower collapses because it was too high or the triangle blocks wouldn’t stand up straight, I’ll just try something else and be excited by each thing I try. When my line doesn’t fit in a poem, I’ll try it in a story and when my words paint a sunny garden that looks more like a rainy day, I’ll try something else but I’ll remember how that rainy day looked and I’ll be proud that I could make my words rain.

    I’m just not ready to be a writer quite yet. I want to spend more time playing with words. I’m sure the time will come soon enough that I’ll want to learn to put doors and windows in my stories so the reader will feel welcome. I’ll need help painting a mood or a taste or a character with my words. For now though, I want to giggle with delight at my discoveries. I want to knock everything down and make something new.
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