“Play is just as important as reading a good book.”

As someone who works with children, it irritates me when I hear adults say things like, “A child couldn’t understand this.” Especially when it comes to books. I have always been an avid reader. I read comedies, tragedies, histories, whatever there was to be read I would read it. Happy or sad, it didn’t matter as long as it was well written. The words resonated me, and even if there were some words that I didn’t fully understand, the feelings stayed with me. Children are very empathetic. They are capable of understanding emotions, and are able to place themselves into other people’s positions quite easily.

I think the reason for this is because children play pretend. When we play pretend we enter into a life that is not our own. It’s a lot like reading a book, honestly. Only adults think that books are more sophisticated and, grown up. I’ve always felt it was the same thing. Writing, and playing. What do actors do? They play at being someone else. Writers imagine many lives, and feel many emotions, think many thoughts. Is this not what children do when they play pretend?

I have played games with my five-year old niece. In one of her games the king died. I was surprised while watching this little girl play as the queen, who was saddened by her husbands passing. The queen was too upset to leave her bed. She was lonely. If a five year old, can understand this without having any idea of what death really means, then why do adults think children are incapable of understand the notion of death?

My niece knows that when someone dies we don’t see them anymore. This is all she knows, and yet, this little girl can take the scenario of not seeing a person you love anymore, and associate it with loneliness. How does one feel when they are lonely? Sad? Depressed?

Even in some of my classrooms I have read aloud to my students and listened to them rant about how rude the characters are in the story. I’ve had children say, “They need a spank on the butt!” My niece will say it as well, when I read her Cat in the Hat.

Children are not given enough credit. They are observant and their world is complex, much like our own. A child’s world is much like a puzzle. They slowly put the pieces together as they grow. The figure out where things belong over time. They are not incompetent. Children are extremely capable of grasping tough subjects such as war, and death, and loneliness. Do not underestimate a child’s abilities. Play is just as important as reading a good book.

–R.

Advertisements

Falling Asleep

Although I enjoy my new job, balancing my fulltime and part-time jobs is tiring. I find myself falling asleep at the end of the day, and wishing that I had more energy. I haven’t had much time for editing either. It doesn’t help that I’m driving into the city for work everyday. It’s three hours of my life in the car. I don’t know if I’ve ever spent over three hours sleeping before. I’m one of those people that wakes up a few times in the night. Strangely, I’m able to nap during the day no problem.

The good thing about my job is that my students are wonderful. They’ve been having a lot of fun, and they make every single day worth it.

Hopefully now that I’ve finished up some of my lesson plans I can get some rest.

Updates

It’s been awhile since my last post. I just finished my first week at my new job. I’m enjoying it so far. I’m doing what I’m going to school for, so it’s perfect for me.

I’ve made a lot of friends at work already.

Book wise, the children’s book is coming along very well. I’m hoping to reach the deadline. As for my novel the editing process is still going as smoothly as it possibly can, now that I’m working fulltime. I actually have two jobs…so trying to balance my week job, my weekend job and my non-work related life is going to be a bit of a challenge. I’m not used to waking up at 6 am for work everyday. Right now I’m pretty tired. I know that by next week my body will have adjusted to the new schedule.

On top of all the work I’m doing I’m trying to tone my muscles up. I’ve managed to take off all that stress weight I gained during that train wreck of a year I had back in 2016. I’m feeling energized again and my confidence is finally coming back. I feel mentally and physically stronger. I’ve been trying to build on my upper body strength as well. I’m lacking in that department. I’ve never really been into any sports that require a tone of upper body strength, so I suppose I never really thought that I needed to work those areas. Now I’m doing my best to try to get some exercise in at least once a day, no matter how tired I am. Even if the exercise is simplistic, I want to keep moving so that I can be at my very best. When I physically feel good, all of my creative work is reflective of that.

Anyway, although it is late, I need to get something into my belly. I didn’t have dinner earlier…wasn’t hungry. I really need to stop doing that.

Till next time,

–R.

Reactions to My Old Writing

I always feel really happy when people react to my poems. Especially my much older ones from when I was around 16. I still get responses from people telling me what they think and its great.

I haven’t posted anything on that website in a long time, mainly because I started this blog and didn’t want my work to be under two different names. It was mainly in case someone claimed I was stealing somebody else’s work, when in actuality I’d just been writing under a different name. That could have become problematic. I have some friends on that website who would rip someone apart on my behalf simply because they know I try hard not to get involved in any sort of drama. They’d do it behind my back too without saying a word because they know I’d protest. At least I know they have my back.

freakingout

Yah, I like that even three, four years later people are still finding my poems and responding to them. It makes me happy and also makes me realize that what I consider to be my “bad” writing has had an effect on people. Like…I’m sitting there going “I rhymed a word with the same word…why? WHY!?” but they’re like “Wow this really touched me. Thank you for sharing.”

Try not to think that because your writing is older that it isn’t any good, or worth looking at. It can help you grow. It shows the techniques you’d been using before, and you can compare it with how you are writing currently. For example, I used to try and use a lot of description, now I like to use a lot of dialogue. When I read my older work, I’m actually impressed with the way I described things but also annoyed at how detailed it is. I wrote something like,

“The bricks of the wall were a mustard yellow colour. The charcoal pavement looked strange up against the yellow bricks.”

I’d look a lot like this:

zonedout

Yah…a thirteen year olds writing versus a twenty year olds. Same person…very different writer. I’ve never actually disliked my writing style. I’ve always been good with dialogue…but like man those descriptions were just sad. They were sad. I don’t know how else to describe them. They did nothing for the passages. They had no purpose. I just always felt like I wasn’t writing enough. Now I’m like “Okay end of chapter. Onto the next!” without questioning myself.

I would encourage everyone to go and look at their older work. Even comparing what genres you used to write is hilarious. I used to pretty much write the same two stories over and over again when I was little until around the 7th grade. Scenario, there is a kid (or group of kids) and they save an animal…or multiple. That’s the story. Some times it was talking animals saving other animals. I was one of those little kids that really liked animals. Yep…now I write about people. And I don’t use the same names over and over again. Like Jordan and Karen and Mac and Emily.

Mac and Emily are very, very famous characters of mine. They have three books and two were bound by my teacher in gr. 4. There are even pictures. And yes…they save the animals from bad guys who are trying to ship the animals off to another country to sell them.

Karen and Jordan also saved the animals from a ship that was trying to sell them to another country.

I wrote them in the same grade. Don’t judge. I wish I had them here with me, because I’d scan a page to show you what I mean.

And there was that story about the baby owl that lost its family and was raised by a human. I wrote that for my brothers birthday when I was maybe in first grade? I used to steal a needle and thread from my moms sewing kit and sew the pages together.

…I wrote so many stories as a kid how did my parents suddenly think I was a weirdo when I wrote six novels at 13? Guess its because I carried my notebooks everywhere and fell asleep with them in bed aha…yah. Good times. Don’t recommend sleeping on a binder. It’s cold and uncomfortable. Also you risk ripping pages.

This is longer than I expected it to be.

I have work to do including chores so I’d better go.

— R.

Nearing the End

The other evening it occurred to me that I’m coming close to the end of two of my projects. One is at the point where it could be complete within a couple hours of hard work, and the other is almost ready for its first round of editing.

Although I didn’t meet my original goal, which was to have them complete by the end of May, I did manage to stay true to my word and get them done before the end of the summer.

With all that has been going on since I arrived back from school, I know that I pushed off my work. I made money, I ran back and forth, I packed, I cleaned, I entertained…but in my free time, rather than work on my personal creative projects I instead focused on keeping an eye on my loved ones. I suppose I was more concerned about everyone’s wellbeing and feared that if I slipped into my own worlds, I’d want to escape for days at a time. I’ve done it before. So rather than write or draw, I just made up stories in my head or read books. When I was exhausted I stayed in bed for hours and did nothing but trace the patterns on my blankets while creating stories in my head. For some reason whenever I feel seriously tired, it is harder for me to fall asleep.

Anyway, I thought I would share my excitement with you.

P.S right now its 7:45 am where I live. That means that no one woke me up in the middle of the night because she couldn’t sleep. She had to go back home…which is a little sad, but I got a hug that apparently never, ever, ever, EVER goes away, so I’ll survive until our next visit.

giphy

Image from Ponyo

 

 

Maybe in my next post I’ll be finished my work? We’ll see!

— R.

“What’s it mean when somebodies heart is broken?” – Curly.T

Trying to explain what it means to have a broken heart to a child is extremely difficult. They think of it like a broken bone, something that you can see and mend…however in reality broken hearts are hidden within us, beneath our outer shells.

Sure, some of us have hearts that aren’t very strong, or don’t work they way they should…but we don’t say our hearts our broken when they’re off beat or they burst out of control. We say they’re under attack.

Until today, I never realized how we view our hearts. When I think of my heart, I think of a vessel pumping in my chest but I also think of the vast emotions that I feel and the memories associated with them. I wonder why our hearts feel as though they clench whenever we’re in pain? Or why they race rapidly when we’re nervous, or why our hearts flutter whenever we’re in love?

I don’t think a broken heart can be properly explained. It is one of those things that you have to feel to actually understand…and for the little girl who asked, I hope she doesn’t feel that sort of pain for a very, very long time…even though it is a necessary feeling that we all need in order to grow.

–R.

“I don’t want to sleep on my own anymore.”

She woke up and found that she was alone. With sleep in her eyes she crawled out of bed, and made her way towards the dark hallway. Her heart was already racing from that dream, now the hallway was so dark that she could barely see a thing.

Her lips quivered, but she stepped out into the hall. She knew where to go. She twisted the knob and whipped open the door–as she would if it were morning–then made her way towards the bed.

“Ryder, I don’t want to sleep by myself anymore,” she whimpered.

Ryder’s eyes shot open. “Wha?”

The little curly-haired girl pouted.

“Want me to come stay with you?” Ryder asked hoarsely, sitting up.

“Yah….”

So, Ryder got up out of bed and followed her through the dark hallway, and into the room with lots of night lights. Ryder gave the little girl a sleepy grin as she sprawled across the bed, not thinking to leave room for anyone else.

“Well, this is the same little girl who kicked me in the head while she was asleep,” Ryder laughed.

The little girl rolled over, closing her eyes, lettings Ryder lay down.

Ryder tucked the two of them in and the little girl latched onto the blanket, curling into a ball. Ryder looked at the time and sighed. At least work wasn’t until the following evening.

“Ooph!”

Ryder glanced at the little girl and frowned as she threw her legs up, and twisted her body around like a wiggling worm.

“Oh, whatever.”

The little girl’s legs flew up into the air as she tossed and slammed into Ryder’s back. There they stayed as she slept peacefully, her knee in Ryder’s side.

With a gentle sigh Ryder took the giant, fluffy giraffe and used it as a pillow.

“Oh look…aw…hmm…sunlight.”

 


Goodnight/morning.

–From R and Princess Curly-top.

Don’t worry, my back should be fine in time for any potential piggy-back rides.

AHH! Lot of Homework

Well I’ve got a lot of homework to do this month. Busy, busy.

I am working on a fun little project. Well two actually. If the one project isn’t finished by the time its due I’ll post it online. Its just something extra that I wanted to do for bonus marks but with all the essays, books and assignments I have I’m not sure if I’ll get it finished in time. I’d love to though. I rarely get to hand in my drawings for a project.

I may or may not have my children’s book reviewed along with the rest of my creative writing portfolio. I’ve got a lot of material but its hard putting together eight pieces to showcase. I haven’t done the illustrations for the children’s book yet so that means I may or may not be staying up till odd hours drawing tonight and tomorrow. We’ll see.

Hope you all have a great rest of your week and for anyone else inching towards exams or with a ton of assignments…or just with a lot on their plate right now, we’ll get through this. One step at a time.

Stay golden,

R.

Trolling Dad

I’m such a troll.

Not the rude obnoxious kind…the kind that makes lame jokes and then giggles about it like a child.

I’m just so easily amused. I trolled my dad all weekend while he was watching a movie. I talked with my sister throughout the whole thing and made references to things that he didn’t understand.

Then yesterday morning I shouted the word my sister and I were screaming during the movie and he just sat there.

…but Dad, if you look at it this way, at least we spent quality time together as a family right? We ate pizza, we laughed…you glared at us. It’s all good.

I’ll get you something nice for your birthday.

Book 12 is Mine!

Yesterday I finally got book 12! After a two year wait…the book is mine.

I also bought my nieces birthday presents. I got her a bunch of books, since she’s in kindergarten and she’s learning to read.

My sister-in-law asked me to do so last time I saw her, since my niece has many, many, many toys.

I’m actually very excited about reading some of the books with her, because I got books that I used to adore as a kid. They made me laugh and the illustrations were fantastic.

I even reread all of them before buying them, just to make sure they were still funny. They were.

I’m so happy I spent the day at Chapters. I mean…now I’m a little behind on my reading for class tomorrow but I was really stressed out with my assignments and needed a break.

Actually I took a break from Saturday to Monday. However it was worth it, I did a lot of new things. Got to know the city better and I met some cool people.

However, I really need to earn some money. Maybe I’ll have a book sale? Sell some books so I can buy some books. I really like books.

I also bought myself a journal because I’d like to get back into telling my own personal story. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll open up one of my old journals from when I was twelve and use it to help my kids, or even the kids I’m going to be teaching through what they’re experiencing. Journaling and blogging are seriously great therapy for me. So is song writing…but yah. It really helps me clear my head.

I’m so glad I have this book now.

Thanks for ordering it for me dad.

— R