Information to help others become better readers, writers, designers, and illustrators
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Bringing Inspiration to Life - By: Stephanie Burkhart
As a writer, a good story idea often comes from inspiration. Once we find that inspiration, it's often our muse, which fans that inspirational spark into a flame. I never thought of myself as a children's/young adult author until I found the inspiration working in my church's Sunday preschool program. We call our program "Little Church" and I help to each the 3's with two other wonderful women, Maureen & Shirley.
For Easter 2009, the ladies wanted to do an Easter play for the children. With a spark and a twinkle in their eyes, they said, "Steph, you're the author. Can you write us a play?"
My first gut reaction: panic! Me, write for children? Then Juliet, my muse, whispered in my ear. I found my courage and bantered ideas around with the ladies.
Children love nature. Nothing amazes them more watering plants and watching them grow. They love picking fruit. A sunny day brings a smile to their faces. While the story of Jesus' resurrection may be hard for them to grasp, a caterpillar's growth and change into a butterfly is one young children understand.
Out of that, my book, "The Giving Meadow" was born. Caterpillar hatches out of his egg and tumbles through a meadow. Along the way he meets a frog, ladybug, bee, and a snake who all help him along his journey. When we presented the play to the children that year it was a big hit.
Then I showed it to Vivian at 4RV. I value her opinion when it comes to writing children's stories and she offered me a contract. It was a wonderful surprise that warmed my heart.
The heart of my blog today is this:
Inspiration is all around us so don't be like me and panic. Smell the roses. Soak up the sunshine. Plant a flower and watch it grow. Don't be afraid to follow your muse.
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Knowing how authors and illustrators get ideas and inspiration is interesting. Thanks for sharing yours for that cute caterpillar. My great-grandchildren love the story.ReplyDelete
I find the process of finding storylines interesting also. Leave it to kids to be the source!ReplyDelete
Stephanie, great book. My grandchildren love it and it has opened some discussions with the little ones about the Lord who created caterpillars AND butterflies. It also has let me talk with them about the importance of being aware when people need help. Great idea for the younger readers.ReplyDelete
You're so right, Steph. You never know what you can do until you try. And your trying led to a lovely book.ReplyDelete
I'm posting this with my Live Journal profile cause Blogger won't let me post.
Very true. Sometimes I regret that I don't have a notebook or sketch book with me when I am out and about. I do usually take my camera along. Every so often I see something that has to be taken directly to the drawing table or my notebook. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and the process*:)ReplyDelete
Vivian, thanks so much for seeing the potential and the deeper message with the story.ReplyDelete
Karen, I agree - kids are a wonderful source of inspiration. Just this year when I was teaching the 3's, they really enjoyed the story - and interestingly - Angeline Jellybean.
Beverly, I'm so glad I tried. :) I'm proud to be a 4RV Author.
Ginger, I think taking a camera is an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing that tip!
Thanks for sharing your inspiring and encouraging story, Stephanie. It looks like a cute book I need to check out for my grandkids!ReplyDelete
So cute. Just like your Giving Meadow. My granddaughters loved it.ReplyDelete
Connie, thanks so much for popping in. Trust me, a little inspiration goes a long way! Mona, I'm so glad your granddaughters enjoy the story. It's very heartwarming and perfect for this time of year and the Easter message.ReplyDelete