There are many gifts you can give a child this holiday season, but in this article, I hope to influence you to give the gift of creativity. The idea came to mind when the collaborators of KidLit Parade discussed what the themes would be for the next two weeks. It was decided holiday traditions (#KLPTraditions) would be appropriate for the season . Instantly, my mind reflected back on all of my memories from days gone by—the ones I experienced and the ones I set for my own child. But it is a different world now with so many wonderful, new options!
Books have always been a mainstay under our Christmas tree. I’m not speaking of the random book or two. My daughter often would unwrap dozens of new books, or as we liked to refer to them, new friends. When you develop a love of reading, at one time or another, in all likelihood, you will also develop a passion for writing. Our daughter was no exception. From an early age she began writing delightful pieces. Some were thought-provoking and others lighthearted. One year, long before the simplicity or age of print-on-demand, I decided to give our daughter a bound collection of her works; a compendium. Late into the evening, well past her bedtime, I painstakingly typed page after page. A 128 pages in total. Once completed, I sent it off to the bookbinders where it was lovingly turned into a leather-bound book with embossed, gold lettering: A Collection of Literary Works by Danielle Lamb.
Instead of trying to convince you of the merits of giving the gift of creativity, I thought I would share one of her stories. She graciously gave me permission. I don’t know exactly when this piece was written, but I can tell you it was no later than sixth grade based on when the book was created. Please enjoy this story of a young girl.
Portrait of a Young Woman
by Danielle Lamb
I am a writer. I am tall and have brown hair and brown eyes. I go to any old school and live in any old house. I seem normal; but that is very wrong. My mind is wandering, always wandering. It’s never in one place. I always want to think of that one story. The story of a lifetime. I yearn for the thread of words that will weave into real human beings, with real emotions, and a real reality. For a writer, such as myself, my job is to give someone a few wonderful days of reading. My job is to create a story and make it someone’s different reality. I know that I am not the only one that craves another venerated book. I know that I am not the only person who needs to follow someone else’s journey along with their own. But I wouldn’t know. I am a writer. I am biased.
I am the world. I live in it. I write about it. The world has good and bad qualities. It is just like me. Sometimes, the world is beautiful with people dancing within it. Other times, the world is ugly with hatred and wrong-doings. I am just like the world. I live within it as a I live within myself. In the world there are some people I hate and some people I would do anything for. I am the world. The world; the earth, is connected to everything. What is easy about the world is that I could be writing about it and it could mean something totally different and spirited. It’s like me. I am my own world. People just happen to live along with it. Along with their own worlds.
I am a pen. Or a keyboard or pencil. It is attached to my comprehending hand as I foster its need to write. It can be my biggest friend or worst enemy; my success in life or my downfall. The pen is my greatest weapon and my most comforting blanket. My emotions run from its ink and put it onto paper so I can never forget them. The pen helps me help others. I like to give my work to others to brighten their day or help them find their weapon or their blanket. I strive to help others find their avocation. The thing they will want to live with and be remembered by. The pen can be contagious and it is my illness that I am never letting go of.
I am growing ingenuity. This is just the beginning. I have not reached my peak. My mind is to grow as my body does. I will grasp the world around me. My imagination and ideas will one day be on paper bound between two loving covers. Then young women and men will read the portrait of my life I have made for myself and want to start their own portraits. I hope with each book, painting, or discovery they make, they will look back on my stories. The abstract of my life. When people will think of the young woman known as Danielle Lamb, they will know that I am a writer, a pen, and a growing mind and ingenuity.
Yes, her words and imagination were captured on paper and bound between two loving covers just as she hoped. The next volume, well, that is up to her. For now, I hope by sharing her story you will see the importance of giving the gift of creativity this holiday season. After all, if a child of ten or eleven can so eloquently move us with such a powerful piece, think of the hope and inspiration they will provide in the future.
Below I have listed some suggestions to get you started. Embrace the moment of giving by placing books under your tree and help your child to someday write their own story. Don’t you want to know what lives in their imagination? I do!
Thank you for sharing this moment in time with me. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.