This blog takes its name from a line in Dr. Seuss‘ “The Foot Book“. I love that book as I do with most things Seussian. Like many of us, I grew up listening to the meter and rhyme of Dr. Seuss books. There is a spark of magic contained in those stories. Learning the value of sharing, gratitude and generosity are the subtext of many of Seuss’ works. They are a favorite during story time at our house.
For me, “The Foot Book” takes on a new meaning since I’m a reflexologist. The book seemed to be a perfect visualization for me to manifest my dream of working full-time on my Dharma, rubbing feet for a living and opening a healing centre just outside of Calgary, then maybe some all over the world. While I would love to just jump and quit my day job, I’m finding that my path is a one-step-at-a-time deal (at least for right now). I’ve always gotten the sense that my healing career would take off suddenly someday and I would then get to hang on and enjoy the ride. Like most paths to success, mine is a twisty-turny one where I sometimes can’t clearly see what the next step is. Do I bravely step off the ledge, like Indiana Jones, or do I keep waxing-on waxing-off, like Karate Kid? I’m guessing my path is more of a Karate Kid, one. (I’m gonna need a montage!)
Back to Seuss! I’ve been writing poetry for a while now. It is always a gutsy thing to say “I’m a poet”, because it pushes you out on the plank of labels and judgement. (“Arrrrr! So you think you’re a poet, aaay? Recite something witty and charming or you’ll be walking the plank, lassie!”, says Captain Critic, Pirate of Poetry.) So I’ll just say that I write poetry and sidestep all that other stuff. I write free-form poetry that just sort of flows out of my heart and onto the page. I do my best to stay with the spirit of the poem so rarely pay attention to meter and I never rhyme when I’m writing. But lately I’ve been thinking of writing a Seuss inspired children’s book, and I’m faced with the structure of both meter and rhyme.
While I love to torture my husband with my awful white-girl rapping (I Love You Missy Elliot!), I’m considerably challenged when it comes to rhyming in poetry or other writing. Rhyming reminds me of trying to complete English homework in grade six. It was excruciating back in those days to be creative. Mainly because I was trying to get an A and not listening to the calling of my heart. To any teachers out there who encourage your students to listen to their hearts, God Bless You (or the metaphysical being of your choice, please shower this person with lucky charms or bazillions of dollars). Still, I am intrigued by the challenge of a project like this for a number of reasons.
Besides improving my rapping talent, it will push me to delve into a style of writing that I have not explored since junior high. Also, reading to my son has made me aware that the book I want to read to him hasn’t been written yet. Based on my nearly non-stop consumption of spiritual and metaphysical books, I have particular ideas about what messages we want to tell our kids. On top of that, our kids often don’t need to be told some things that parents do. Things like “You are a strong and powerful person”. Kids, particularly small kids, usually have no sense of themselves as inferior to anyone else. When I tell my son he is a great kid, he usually says “Yeah, great kid” in a tone that says, ‘yeah I know, tell me something I don’t know’. So since most books I read to him I want to rewrite, why not write my own?
I’ve been thinking about the National Novel Writing Month challenge, but perhaps I will have my own challenge. A month of writing like Dr. Seuss. Instead of writing a novel of 50,000 words, I could write a children’s book of 1,500 words. I did some research and Dr. Seuss books are longer than the average early reader books that are published now. So since my muse is Seuss, I’ll stick with his format. I figure since I am rhyming and following a set structure it will take about a month to finish writing. I might also get brave and try some illustrating too, which is another thing I haven’t done since junior high. Yikes! Look at me jumping off the high dive!