Monday, December 19, 2011
Support, and The Magic Porqupine
Today, I want to talk about the importance of supporting our loved ones.
I never doubted I'd make it as a writer mostly because my parents and husband always took my success as a matter of course. The belief that I would be published was drilled into me since I was eight, and when you learn something that young, it sticks with you.
My mom always encouraged my creativity. For example, when we went on road trips we liked to make pass-around stories where she'd tell one part of a story, I'd tell the next, and so on until the story was done. Some were silly, some we gave up on, but some made us proud.
When I was six, we came up with a story we still remember.
My mom started it:
"Once there was a great king who was kind and fair to his people. Everyone loved him, but he was unhappy because he had no children. One day, a wizard came to his door seeking shelter, and in exchange, he granted the king one wish. Pass."
"The king wished he could have lots of children, so the wizard gave him a magical porcupine."
My mom later told me what she thought: Huh? A magical porcupine? Well, let's see where this goes.
I went on: "Each day, the king could take only one quill from the porcupine and it would turn into a child with magical powers. One child could shoot fire balls. Another could read minds. Another could move things without touching them. Pass."
The story continued like this: The king was very happy with his large family of magical children. But another king was jealous. He wanted the porcupine for himself so he could build an army of magical soldiers.
He went to war with the kind king, and while the countries fought, he snuck into the castle and found the porcupine. He tore as many quills from the porcupine as he could.
The porcupine transformed into a beautiful woman. She cursed the greedy king and drove him out of his lands. When the kind king returned to his room, the porcupine was gone. But it was okay because he already had all the children he wanted. He and his family lived happily ever after.
My mom was so impressed by how this story developed that she turned it into a script. When my church had a talent show, our youth group performed it. They pulled out all the stops: the characters were dressed in fancy medieval clothes, the king had a crown and a throne, and they even made a porcupine puppet who could speak.
Imagine what something like this would do to a six-year-old child. Everyone loved the play, and everyone knew I helped write it. One of my earliest memories is of being praised for a story I created.
I hope I can show the same support to my children. I wish everyone in the world could. It makes all the difference.