From my days in business I remember someone telling me to find someone who has what you want, do what they did, and you'll get what they got. C.S. Lewis, the author of the "Chronicles of Narnia" books, is one of these people for me.
Doing research, I found out that "During the Second World War, when children from London were being evacuated to the country, four youngsters were billeted at Jack's home, the Kilns. Surprised to find how few imaginative stories his young guests seemed to know, he decided to write one for them and scribbled down the opening sentences of a story about four children -- then named Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter -- who were sent away from London because of the air raids, and went to stay with a very old professor who lived by himself in the country.
That's all he wrote at the time (he was 41 years old), but, several years later (at age 51), he returned to the story. The children (now named Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) found their way into another world -- a land he would eventually call Narnia."
I got the idea for my own series based on teaching inner-city children who were two and three grades below grade level, hoping to bridge the learning gap for them. But the chances of anyone writing something so great for its readers that it becomes as world-famous as The Chronicles aren't great. The C.S. Lewis' and J.K. Rowlings' (Harry Potter), Shakespeare's, Twain's and Poe's come once in a lifetime.
But so what if the chances aren't great. All we need is one. And that one chance for me comes every time I open my eyes in the morning and realize I've been given one more day to live.
They were/are everyday people just like you and me, only with non-everyday dreams. If they could do it, so can I. Whatever you do, do it big; loving, dreaming, playing, learning, and writing. It was in teaching these inner city children that my "Dream Big, Do Big, Be Big" class motto came to me four years ago.
The most important thing is that together my children and I are creating something that will last forever in our lives, and it is being created out of my children's personalities and their father's imagination. Enjoy reading the story they've given me so far, while we go play and write some more. (I think I had to give her a kiss before she let me smell the flower)
Bella just sent Sofia up to tell me we had to go to the tree. After reading what I wrote for the first time, Bella told me in no uncertain terms that she isn't bossy; so now she's ordered Sofia to come and get me. Here she's practicing martial arts with her older sister's jujitsu belt. I think my own daughter is sending a warning to be careful what I write in the future about her.
“Bella, where’s Drozden?”
“He’s up in the tree,
“No he’s naught”, Sofia responded, drawing out the vowel in the last word, which Bella, age eight, found annoying.
Looking up and slowly turning her head in all directions,
Bella looked up, expecting to see her brother hanging upside down from a branch, covering his mouth to control his laughter. Her brother, age ten, lived to play and laugh, and was always up to something. But this time he wasn’t there…..
“Just a Big Old Tree”
Now the tree the girls were talking about wasn’t any ordinary tree. True, it was an old and big tree in a park just down the street from their father’s house. But it was more than “just a big old tree Dad wants to show us”, as Brosden said to
It was so old and big that
“Dad, are we allowed to climb on this tree?” Bella asked.
“What else is a tree for?” her father said smiling as he watched his three children race from where they were and begin scrambling up the welcoming fingers of the branches. This is a sight he would often see as he would sit underneath the tree working on his stories while his children played above his head.
“The First Scroll”
“Brosden! Where are you?” Bella called out, shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun as she scanned the branches for signs of her brother.
“Drozden, wear are yooh?”
“It’s Brosden, 'bah..bah'...Brosden, Sofia, with a 'B', not a 'D', and stop counting. Brosden, come out right now!” Although younger than her brother, Bella tended to be a little bossy.
“Drozden, wear are yooh??? Come out white now!”
As Bella carefully walked her little sister up one of the huge branches, they could see the dirty tennis shoe of their older brother. “Brosden, why didn’t you answer us?”, Bella demanded. Her brother didn’t answer, but just sat there reading an ancient looking piece of paper. This alarmed Bella more than thinking her brother might have fallen out of the tree, because her brother never read unless Dad made him.
“Brosden, what are you reading?”
“I’m not sure” her brother replied. “I was hiding from you guys when I reached in this hole I’ve never seen before. I felt this rolled up inside.”
“Let me see!” Bella said as she snatched the piece of paper from her brother’s hands. “It’s a scroll!” she declared excitedly.
“A what?” asked Brosden.
“It’s a droll Drozden”
“What does it say?” asked
"The Riddle of Curses and Traps"
Even though his sister had the piece of paper, Brosden answered
This tomb is protected
With curses and traps
Are your only map
Step with care
If you dare
Be very aware
The floor will hold
smart and bold
Avoid congruent shapes
And your path will be gold
“What does that mean?” Bella thought out loud.
“What’s a domb?”
“It’s a …..” but before Bella could finish, the mysterious hole in the tree above her brother’s head was widening, getting larger and larger. Before the three children could move, the branch they were on lifted them up and slid them into the hole……