Sinkers and Floaters.
This summer we made an entire fleet
of homemade boats.
We wanted to see which would be the most seaworthy.
If you're an artist or writer, you may be able to relate.
How do you view what you've made -
or tiny pieces of your soul?
Too often as a writer,
I send out tiny pieces of my soul I like to call
My manuscript souls wobble out into the blue -
some of them proud and brave,
others nervously checking their rigging,
desperate to sail smooth waters.
But when those manuscript soul pieces,
(dare I call them horocruxes?)
hit bad seas
I keel over.
Much like my tin can boat.
It didn't even float for one second. Oops.
I guess I shouldn't have cut that gaping hole in the side.
How much better would it be
to think of what I produce
as experiments in progress,
to play more,
and take myself with a pinch of salt. or saltwater.
Tiny pistachio shell fairy boats.
Egg carton boats.
(It helped to dip them in wax so they didn't turn to putty in water.)
We made extras for school friends,
complete with pencil masts
and goldfish crackers.
Woven stick and string rafts.
After days of preparation for our regatta,
the kids scrapped the boats altogether.
There's some kind of lesson in this. I just know it.
Maybe the moral is that it's good to diversify.
Work on more than one creation at a time
so that if one sinks,
or gets critiqued, or rejected,
you don't jump overboard in devastation
or, maybe the moral
is just to
give yourself a little breathing room.
Splash a little.
Sink a little.
We all fail.
But we live, too.
We have only so much time on this planet.
It should be a joyful sailing, right?
Toy Boat, by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Loren Long
If you have not seen this book, you simply must.
Loren Long's illustrations are smooth and stunning,
Randall de Seve's writing is succinct and powerful.
This book gives me happy chills.
It's "The Little Engine That Could" for a new generation.