Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Bottle Opener...

Thanks to Old Kitty for reminding me of another lovely magical piece of writing. I think A.A.Milne has had a lot of stick over the years for his sentimentality (Dorothy Parker's 'tonstant reader fwowed up' comment comes to mind) but that bit Kitty quoted beautifully and succinctly sums up the true meaning of a good friend.

Here is something that I am rather fond of from my as yet unpublished picture book The House That Went to Sea about a shy boy Michael Mariner whose parents have disappeared while studying monkeys in the rain forests. Michael goes to stay with his grandmother in her cottage by the sea and one night granny pulls up the anchor and away the house sails...:-

Michael checked for mermaids, sharks and pirates before he dropped into the water. It wasn't quite as warm as a bath which was just as well, he thought, for you shouldn't use soap and shampoo in the sea. He frog-kicked around the house and when his fingers and toes got wrinkly, he climbed back on board. As he did so, a bottle with a message knocked at the porch.

The message read, 'Dear Bottle Opener, We were pushed in the sea by some bad tempered monkeys. The log we managed to cling to, took us to an island. We shall be available to be rescued any time after 3 o'clock on Friday.
Yours most sincerely
Mr and Mrs Mariner

Enjoyed this handy little guest blog on the topic of coincidence over at the Rejectionist. I like the last paragraph especially which wisely says that its okay to have coincidences in your stories but only if you make them believable.

Also found this lovely piece on the importance of doing your own thing as a writer over at Janet Reid's blog. Like Sean Ferrell it took me a while to realise that I didn't have to write like other people wrote. I didn't have to follow their methods. Didn't have to do it the way they did to produce something good. I guess its a matter of confidence. Like shoe horning an ugly sisters foot into cinderella's shoe, its uncomfortable and impossible to walk forward. When I started out as a writer I spent a lot of time stressing that I couldn't do what needed to be done the way it should be done. Simultaneously I kept scribbling down things in my own cack-handed fashion and after a while the cack-handed stuff began to look better then the method writing. What an immense relief it was when I finally settled on the right shoe for me (nothing too orthopaedic or sensible) - how comfortable it felt and now I could walk a lot faster with ease, maybe even sprint or jog at times. I had to hand make that shoe myself but boy it fits like magic.


Old Kitty said...

That is the politest rescue SOS ever!!! :-) I keep thinking they'll be on the log by now having tea and crumpets! LOL!!!

Great stuff - got my imagination flowing! Good luck with this.

Oh it's still taking me awhile to struggle free from the writer's straighjacket - but I hope I'm getting there - I think I've managed to get a buckle loose!

Take care

Fifi Colston said...

Oh I love it! You have indeed a great brain to think of such stuff.
P.S still planning a sample illustration for you for Made with Love and just realised next door's 6 year old looks just like Mickey the Monkey. Yopu fill my head up with great images Melinda- can I clone myself to do them all justice?

Pen said...

Love this snippet it's gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. :D

It is so true, we don't have to write like anyone else. I have to write my own stories with my own voice. That is what makes it mine: that is what makes it magic.
So right back at you Melinda.