Living the rough draft

Each day after school, after Dillon has a snack and sufficient dose of mind numbing television (think Pokemon and Spongebob), he comes to the kitchen counter to do his homework. Then he goes outside to play. See, aren't we so well-rounded? During homework time, as he records his entries in his composition book, my main job is to make sure he's following the instructions and forming letters correctly. I can't tell him how to spell anything. He has to sound it out. Dillon's class uses what's known as invented spelling. The idea is to get them writing their thoughts quickly and easily in a first draft, without becoming bogged down with "getting it right".

That sounds like the conversations I've had with my editor recently. She encourages me to get into the flow of the story and worry about editing later. Which is a constant issue for a perfectionist like me. But the system totally works. Many times I go back to the writing and am surprised at how well the ideas have come together, because I've given them space to flow. Self-editing too soon blocks that flow.

So back to Dillon. He's really getting the hang of it. Each week, I savor the papers that come home: Dillon writing about how much he loves me. How much he enjoyed our family trip to Universal Studios. And just how stinkin' happy we are.

And then one day, I got this. See if you can figure it out:

Dillon jeans


Do you need a translator? My adorable snuggle puppy louded me out for forcing him to wear jeans. And I'm not sure what's going on with the picture. Am I the big monster-sized person with ginormous hands? Or the strange vulture human hovering above? Either way, his account is correct. I was about to sell a kid that day. And his dad, too, when he told Dillon he could change into shorts. 

Anyway, I don't think Dillon has a problem with the whole "getting ideas out on paper" thing. You?

So there you have it. It's not always hearts and flowers in happy land. And I'm really so proud of that kid. He keeps me humble, for sure.