Swirl and Spark Story Planner

From the time I could hold a pencil, I’ve loved to write. But not the kind of writing you may be thinking of. I’ve loved to write letters. (No, not the correspondence type either). I’ve love to write actual letters. Like the alphabet. A, B, Cs and especially Js –for my name. I liked forming the letters as perfectly and as neatly as I could. Every strait line and curvy swirl was my bliss.

When I was in 4th grade, my favorite part of the day was immediately after lunch—printing and cursive writing time. I worked hard to make my Ts cross just a bit above the dotted half line, exactly like the picture showed me. But it wasn’t real hard work for me. (I guess I had excellent fine more skills.) It was relaxing. I did my best thinking while forming my Ss like Sammy the Snake and my Is like Iggy the Igloo. And eventually I had the neatest hand writing in the class. Except maybe for my best friend, Amie S. We shared the neatest handwriting title for a while, but eventually she fell off the handwriting pedestal. Her letters were clearly too small. Everyone said so.

I can remember playing in my grandparent’s basement after Sunday dinners. It wasn’t a finished basement, like you see today. It had concrete walls and a slippery floor for sliding in our socks. It had support poles for hanging onto and swinging around until we were dizzy. It had one toy—a teeter totter with a seat in the center. And it had a staircase. A fabulous open back staircase. And that’s where I did my earliest writing. I’d sit with my legs swung through an opening and write on top of a step. It was my pretend desk and it was my favorite place to be.

I wrote on anything I could find. In fact one of my earliest memories was writing letters on a spare checkbook register given to me by my mom. Maybe that was all she had in her purse! I’m not too sure why Grandma didn’t give me a notebook or something, but I don’t remember minding. That blank checkbook was golden. It was for that night anyway, my ticket to recording my thoughts on paper. The thin lines made it even more special—they made my work look official, like my letters had some place important to be.

I’d love to say I wrote stories back then, but I didn’t. It just never occurred to me. I was far too busy writing plays and skits anyway. Most of my ideas came to me while my brother, sisters and I played those games in that basement. I didn’t know it then, but I do now—a playful mind is an imaginative mind. It’s free to be creative.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past year about what I’m passionate about…what types of things interest me, and what I like to write about. One theme keeps showing up over and over. Imagination.

So, I’ve decided to write more about it—wherever I can. I’ve already written a whole manuscript based on it, (more on that another day), but I have so much more to share. You’ll see I’ve added another tab to this website. At swirl and spark academy you’ll find just about anything that has to do with imagination—imaginative play and how to harness it in order to become successful—no matter what age kid you are!

There’s not much on that tab yet, but there will be. Check it out of you like though, to see what I have planned. I did want to kick it off with something helpful though, and I wanted to start off with something I wish I had when I was starting to write. Something to help me harness my imaginative thoughts. In fact, I would have LOVED to have something like this back then when I was writing on my desk/step. Who am I kidding? I like using it now too.

It’s the Swirl and Spark Story Planner, an actual planner you can download (for free) to help you organize your story. Just go to the swirl and spark academy tab to find it. I’d love for you to download it, and tell me what you think. I hope it can help someone out there besides me. 🙂

You may notice that I’ve deleted the To Be Read Pile tab too. I’ve kept the information though. It’s over in the Book Nook. Just scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find all the great books I’m planning to read next!

Please remember, any subs for Critique Corner need to be in by Friday. The round is next week already and I can’t wait!

And that’s all the updates for now. I hope you enjoyed my journey back to my earliest writing days. I wasn’t too different from most kids even today, I guess. Well except maybe for the cursive writing sessions!

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