Magnum Opus Nullus

After JM returned from his Swiss trip he put in extra effort and time to finish Storybook Land’s sixth story (The Tarzana Treehouse). His intent was to finish that story, take a recess from writing children’s stories and create his magnum opus. It was to be a three-act play based on real people and real events in his eventful life. Well, the recess bell never sounded, or the playground had turned barren. In any case and after pounding the recess metaphor lifeless, he found himself without a hint of how to write it. Continue reading

Pay Attention! will be your desperate cry

“Through the eyes of a child God sees us as we really are.” Tonton Jim said this in a moment of longing to be deeply wise. I referred him to a previous article on pithy sayings, but did pause to consider what he’d said. I also suggested that TJ leave out the adverb ‘really’ which only betrays  his desperate longing to sound really, really profundo. But TJ is right: a child’s vision can be brutally sharp.

I did have an occasion to be seen through the eyes of a child when I was a fourth-grade teacher. In an Open Court reading anthology, there was a free verse poem enjoyable enough in its original form. With some of its nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs removed it served as a fill-in-the-blanks poem which the students could use to create their own poems about whatever subject interested them. One bright and bold girl (a favorite student) choose to write about her teacher, me. Continue reading