There’s no sense writing a story about nothing. I’m sure it’s been done before, and everyone knows Seinfeld made a fortune off a show about nothing. But here’s the thing, you and me… we’re not Jerry Seinfeld and we’re not Oprah. We don’t live in the moment of opportunity, and we might as well realize that we can’t bank on a story about nothing. It has to be great, if not amazing. And even then, that gosh-darned portal is only opened for a nano-second, and word on the street is that it has a pretty strict dress code (something about no crap ideas allowed… )
So in the spirit of one day finding my way into the Portal of Publishment, I needed a fantastical idea. AND luckily (don’t tell Oprah I said that), I think I have one!
I’ve heard creative geniuses being asked to explain their processes before, and they’ve been known to answer annoyingly “I have no idea how it happens, but it just does.” Basically telling us ordinary folk that unless divine intervention occurs (something oddly not available at Walmart), we’re screwed. Now to be clear, I’m not claiming to be a creative genius, but I also cannot explain where my fantastical idea came from. I’ve never really been directly interested in nutrition and up until that point was never really concerned about childhood obesity, but for some reason my fantastical idea involved both those topics – along with a sprinkling of fairies just for good measure.
Anyways, this being a school project originally, I had a deadline to meet and I needed an idea to begin. Thinking and thinking, slowly getting frustrated, it just popped into my head – this image of a cute chubby little boy with his arm stuck in a jar. I started imagining vivid pictures of a cute house in the middle of an enchanted forest, fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies, a chubby little boy with his arm jammed in a cookie jar and four fat fairies who spoke in rhymes. It was the beginning of my fantastical idea.
I quickly started writing and within a few hours, I had a really good start on the story and even had some of the rhymes! It’s amazing how quickly the creative process can go from traffic jam to smooth sailing. Getting started is always the toughest part, after that the fun stuff begins.
After I finished writing the story, it soon became clear to me that it was dual-purpose. One, it was a fairy-tale, and two it was a lesson. Ten years ago, the dangers of childhood obesity were nowhere near what they are today but they were well on their way. Like I said, I don’t remember exactly where I heard of this problem but somehow I knew it was a big one. It wasn’t until a few years later when I heard Dr. Phil talk about it further that I realized I really had hit the nail on the head.