I was a child of the 80’s. Thus, Saturday mornings found me and my sister crowding in front of our TV, sneaking our hands into the bag of powder sugar donuts and watching cartoons. One we always watched together was Jem and the Holograms. On one particular episode…I can’t remember which one…Jem’s boyfriend, Rio shouts to another man, “Que pasa, Louis!”
My sister and I thought this sounded so funny, as we were not used to hearing people speak Spanish, and for days afterward we would shout right out of the blue, “Que pasa, Louis!”
What could this have to do with homeschool, writing, books or any of the other things on this blog? Well…ahem, probably nothing. Except, when I remembered I hadn’t talked about my writing, lately, I remembered hearing that while watching Jem.
Speaking of watching TV with my sister, I also remember taking turns. If I would watch He Man with her, she would watch one of my favorite’s with me. There was no such thing as more than one TV in the house. We shared it. The best part was if one of us didn’t like the cartoon on at the time, we could still enjoy the confections from the donut bag.
Again, what does this have to do with anything? Answer: I don’t know yet.
When TV got boring, my sister and I would either go outside to play in the yard or pull out all our barbies. And, lemme tell y’all, we had barbies. Lots of them. Nurse Barbie, astronaut Barbie, Barbie of Barbie and the Rockers, lots of Ken dolls who always lost their shorts, and let’s not forget the Jem and the Hologram dolls. We had a barbie waterbed, barbie mansion, barbie cars barbie clothes galore and imaginations that kept us busy for hours. As we grew older, our friends would come over and play barbies with us. I remember staying up all night during a sleep over, because we were still playing barbies.
Today, when my youngest asks me to play pretend with her Shopkins or My Little Pony, she always wants me to start the game. She doesn’t like to play with her sister, because she says I have a better imagination. I can’t help but think that it all stems from those days of playing pretend with my own sister. Comes in handy when I need ideas for my stories, too.
Finally, I got to the topic of this blog. Or, have I?
One of the things my children and I love to do is Mad Libs. It teaches those essential language arts skills, builds vocabulary, stretches imaginations and provides afternoons filled with laughter. The other day, we put the books away and did Mad Libs almost all afternoon. One of them stuck with me, as it was just that funny.
“Part of the body, Mom,” my daughter said.
“Lip,” I replied.
“Okay, Sis, now a noun.”
“Cat,” my other daughter said.
When it was all said and done, the sentence read like this: “The prince took her by the lip and said, ‘May I have this cat?’”
Another Mad Lib, which was a shortened version of The Night Before Christmas, had St. Faith instead of St. Nick, ‘up the chimney he fell’, and…my favorite…1,229 tiny unicorns, instead of 8 tiny reindeer.
I suppose my point to all this, is a love of words and an active imagination are necessary when writing fiction. They also help get me through some tough days as a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her children.
So, as February comes to a close, get your barbies out. Then, grab a bag of Donuts and a video of Jem and the Holograms, and let your imagination run wild. After that, find someone to do Mad Libs with, because it’s no fun doing them alone. Smile often, but laugh even more, and be sure to check out my friend’s new book, “A Brother’s Love” now available on Amazon.
When Cody finds out his brother, Joey is going to be sent away to a camp for blind kids, he does everything in his power to stop it. Then, he realizes his brother is going to be okay without him, and that it’s okay to learn new things.
This book is funny and teaches a lesson at the same time. There is nothing quite like a brother’s love, and Anita’s book is one you won’t want to miss.