Making Mud Pies

by Kim Peterson

I’m told I was a particularly difficult baby and a challenging child. The family blames the first on colic; I blame the second on a vivid imagination.

Whatever the cause, a series of photos seems to substantiate the claims of my parentals, aunts and uncles, and grandmother. One snapshot in particular comes to mind.

Picture a “sweet” toddler (me) in a two-piece pink bathing suit (circa the mid-sixties). Black mud smears my white tummy, mats honey-colored curls, and plasters my face. Two green eyes peek out. Mud even coats my arms to the elbows.

What happened? Armed with a Banquet pot pie tin (pre-microwave days), dirt, and water, I “cooked dessert” with joy and abandon. In the middle of a puddle, my imagination sprang loose, and fun ran amok. Creativity happened.

Many of us enjoyed the creativity of childhood. Forsaking a bike to experiment with a unicycle, hosting a tea party on Mars, and staggering through a homemade obstacle course on stilts.

Then we grew up, leaving childhood behind. Unfortunately, many of us left our childhood sense of wonder behind, too.

Somehow grown-up responsibilities crowded out our childlike creativity. Oh sure, we are still creative in how we organize our files, decorate our homes, and manage the other things that clamor for our attention. We use our creativity daily, but we aren’t enjoying our creative nature, and we rarely devote time to enriching that aspect of our lives.

But if we want to write for children, we need to rediscover the joy of a vivid imagination.

If you want to bring back that sense of wonder, to embrace that childlike creativity, to re-accept our unique natures and use the gifts God gives each of us, join me at Write2Ignite! 2017 in my workshop “Creativity: Imagine Like a Child.” We’ll be digging into some fun, hands-on exercises!

Hope to see you there. I hear the dirt at North Greenville University is red!

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2 thoughts on “Making Mud Pies

  1. Grandkids and listening to Disney tunes give me a splash of inspiration. But I need more! Can writers of children’s literature ever be too in touch with their inner child? Looking forward to your class, digging deeper into my imagination, and even getting my hands dirty.