As a writer, occasionally you sit back, read what you have just written on the page, and declare — “Yeah, that’s good.” It is at those infrequent and exceptional moments when you feel that you are doing what you are intended to be doing — writing.
So it was yesterday morning with the second collection of Little Red Bear’s adventure stories, “The Second Holler Over!”
With the next collection of short stories well more than halfway completed, a new inspiration came to me stepping out of my morning shower. It was so strong and compelling that a planned breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast was scratched in favor of a dry bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal to munch on in order to set to work immediately, not to lose the revelation.
Initial thoughts were quickly added to the end of the second story, already written. Then they were refined, edited, refined, and edited again. Over and over thru the morning. My normal process of writing, editing as I go.
When finished hours later just in time for lunch, I re-read what I feel are the twelve most well-crafted and impactful paragraphs I have ever written. Twelve short paragraphs linking two adversaries, establishing an ominous tone, and underpinning all subsequent themed action to follow in the ensuing stories and coming books.
Admittedly not one to be easily impressed, I myself felt the impact of the new addition on the stories and was moved. Where the sudden inspiration for the addition to something that was already “finished” came from, heaven only knows. Literally, perhaps.
And after years of progressive study, reading and examining the works of others, writing, editing, more writing, more editing, rewrite work and more, it suddenly occurs to you over a lunchtime fruit smoothie a few minutes later that your writing ability, just maybe, has taken another small step forward to being truly proficient at what you do. And, yeah — that’s good.
If you are interested in what the twelve paragraphs were, you will need to wait until “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The Second Holler Over!” is available in the fall. They will be the closing paragraphs of the second story, entitled “The Great Bramble Scramble.” I hope you are moved by them, too.
If new to Little Red Bear and his adventure stories, right now in the midst of summer reading season while even the leaves on trees seem to be melting on some days, it would be a good time for catching up with all the prior action, since the short stories run in sequence. “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” is available in both Print and eBook versions on Amazon. The book will also be available in a Large Print version soon, as requested by numerous senior fans of Little Red Bear.
By this time, a few may be thinking “this guy is a bit full of himself.” But to conclude that would be to miss the real point.
Whether our main activity and focus be on career, child-rearing, hobby pursuit, or personal passion like my writing is for me, often as we go along it can seem like we ourselves are Sisyphus reincarnate, doomed to repeatedly push a huge boulder up a steep hill, endlessly for eternity, only to have it roll back to the bottom each time, never progressing or making a difference. The view on life’s treadmill can become monotonous and seem unchanging.
It is beneficial to be aware and recognize special moments when they present themselves, to press the “Pause” button, step off and realize that we have done something out of the ordinary, above and beyond expectations. To savor the accomplishment and personally acknowledge that yes indeed, we are making progress on our journey, however small it may be. A step forward is however measured, a step forward nonetheless.
And then, purpose reaffirmed and heartened a bit, we get back at it with a refreshed energy and spirit to move forward another step. And then another.
Pause occasionally, to savor a special moment.
We hope that whatever your passion and pursuit in life, that you may also experience such uplifting and reaffirming moments. So that you too, can say — “Yeah, that’s good.”
What can you do to help someone find a happy moment today? Share your smile or a kind gesture? Or an unexpected flower, perhaps?
A simple act of kindness has the power to be life-altering for someone. That is pretty special in itself, don’t you think? — Jim (and Red!)
If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy → “Finding A Purpose Driven Life — What Would You Do If . . . . . . ?”
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“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott
“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb
Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends — “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”
“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” – R.L. Stine
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“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” – Chinua Achebe