Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Moment #128: a writing prompt for your work-in-progress

(If you’ve already read this then skip past all the italicized blah-di-blah and start writing.) Monday Moments are writing prompts for your work-in-progress. They are questions that come from my experiences and are my favorite way to find out more about my characters. I find I learn a lot. Some of it I use. Some of it I don’t. But I always, always get to know my characters better just by answering the question. I hope you do too.)

So much going on I'm not even sure what Moment to tell you about today: I'm gearing up to leave for the big SCBWI Summer conference; I'm preparing to welcome over 200 during an Orientation just before the big event kicks off; We've been figuring out chore schedules and allowance for our girlies; My youngest girlie and I just ran in her first race, a one-mile fun run; and, we turned a lizard into two guinea pigs (now that's a story...and probably one that requires more time than I have today). to decide. What should today's Moment be?

 I choose...FUN RUN.

And it was so much fun.

At the end of this last school year my girls had a to do a one-mile run at school. I have horrid memories of running one mile for academic fitness tests and I usually did anything and everything to get out of them. My oldest girlie (11) feels the same way. But there was something about that one mile and running that my youngest (9) really enjoyed.

She ran it at school in just over 11 minutes. When we talked about it later, I mentioned how running is sport you can compete against yourself in, and she was into it. A summer goal became improving that one-mile time. We got her a great pair of running shoes and started to hit the track two to three times a week.

Then came this Saturday; a community in our area had a Whale of Run. Skylar and I got up early and drove the 45 minutes to sign up and run; a really different experience without being on a track and running along side all those other runner.

Skylar and her proud Mama pre-race.

We were sort of left in the dust as most took off a bit too fast. Of course they started to hit a wall a quarter mile in or so, but we kept on our pace. A pesky side ache slowed us down a bit but we pushed on. Skylar was determine and I tried to keep her motivated. I think she really enjoyed the fact that about half-way along, we started passing other runners.

It was hard to tell how our pace was comparing to our typical runs. Skylar had so far improved her time by quite a bit. Her best time, 10:28. So as we rounded the corner and could spot the finish we pushed a bit more. Then the clock came into view, and we could see a 9! A 9. Could we possible get our time under 10 minutes?

We made our final push to the finish and I believe we crossed that line right about 9:55. What an amazing improvement. And, So. Much. Fun.

Skylar after the race. She now says her favorite number is 186.

I was (and still am) a proud Mama. And even if she didn't say it, I know Skylar was proud of herself. And she's looking forward to another run in the future. She even said, maybe next year we can run the four mile. Amazing.

Now, I'm not a runner. I may be a fitness-loving freak. But I'm a gym rat. But let me tell you, I will run to the ends of the Earth with that kids. Pure joy. Chokes me up a bit.

It seems like there are so many questions that can be asked about character from this experience, so feel free to come up with one that might work best for your character's situations, but I'll ask this one:

What is one activity your character finds common interest in with an adult (parent, mentor, family member)? (Could certainly be positive or negative.)


Karrie Zylstra-Myton said...

Has she heard of Girls on the Run? My sister and her daughter love that program and everyone connected to it. Here's a link:

And my characters and I are loving your moments. Please keep them coming;)

Cuppa Jolie said...

Thanks, Karrie!

Oh my how I wish we were in a location where we could access Girls On the Run. It looks like an amazing program.

Anonymous said...

You are a good mom and such a great achievement for your daughter! Way to start them young.

Cuppa Jolie said...

Ah! Thanks, Nicole. :)