Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flowing Like a River

Looking out across the flowing and majestic Hudson River from the vantage point of Revolutionary War site Fort Montgomery by Bear Mountain the other day, I began to envision the people who lived and fought here coming alive again in new books for children. Books for children from PBs through early readers, chapter books, to YA, focus on American historical events and the participants. The stories are exciting for the reader as story as well as demonstrating how each small part played in an historical event is essential to the entire event being successful, whether the MC is the general or a young girl who rides her horse through the night to warn local patriots of danger. Children learn that each person's part is important to the whole. The Hudson Valley has many individual stories as does New Jersey, (the Crossroads of the Revolution), New York, Philadelphia,(where there are numerous stories of children who aided the cause), and of course New England and southern states such as Virginia.

To visit Fort Montgomery on a beautiful sun filled day or Lexington and Concord or the sea coast of Connecticut in the pleasure of a summer afternoon may not give the effect of patriots struggling through a bitter cold winter or wet spring, but it does start the ideas and research in motion to begin another book.

Often our summer travels are closer to home such as to the local produce farm or the city park and spawn great story plots. Visiting the Hudson Valley may not be terribly exotic but it was productive. Some of our writers have had fascinating trips. Judy of this blog gets first prize for gathering research for her novel while gazing out on the rolling hills of Tuscany and Gale gets second for writing while looking out over the sea from the coast of Maine. Another member is visiting a lovely harbor in Ireland and perhaps there is a story waiting there. But where we writers are there will be new ideas flowing with memorable characters in different settings with unique stories.

What book/plot ideas have you discovered during your summer travels?


  1. Hey! I wanted to tell you that I have nominated your blog for a few awards!! :)

  2. Ottilie,

    Wonderful news! Thanks so much! Glad you are enjoying our discussions about children's books and the Writing Life.


  3. The problem with writing while "looking out over the sea" is the sea takes over and the story ideas disappear!