Monday, March 8, 2010

Writing from the Heart: The Next Generation

As I mentioned in my first post, I am a third-generation writer. It excites me to pass that interest on to my grandchildren. When my oldest daughter homescho0led Joey, he hated writing assignments, but he loved getting e-mail. He was still young enough to need mom's help at the computer.

One day I sent him an e-mail. "Joey, I have an idea. Let's write a story. I'm going to start a story and send it to you. I want you to figure out what happens next and send me an e-mail."

One day, when I went to visit his family, he met me at the door. "Grandma Pat, I know what's happening next, I just haven't sent it yet. " Then he filled me in on the next exciting installment.

In one of my many moves, I lost that story, but I do have one he and a buddy wrote for a high school assignment. And now, he is interested in writing sci-fi/fantasy.

Then there's Caylin. I went to her hometown to see her Little League game and take her home with me for the weekend. Slow traffic caused us to take a detour to get there. The reason -- a bad accident on the interstate highway. At the time I was a newspaper reporter/photographer and though off-duty, I had a camera and my curiosity with me. I didn't try to take a hike through a cornfield to get to the site of the accident -- not with a ten-year-old. It's a good thing I didn't. The driver of a semi was under the semi, his broken body severed in two.

We inch-wormed our way to a county road that took us into town. Pulling into a root bear stand, I ordered drinks and told Caylin she could stay in the car and enjoy her root bear. Her response -- "Can't I go with you Grandma? Do you have paper I can use to take notes?"

I found her a spare reporter's pad and a pen. We went up to a police officer who was standing on the sidelines. Traffic had been re-routed through our town. It was hectic. I asked whether I could get some information from the officer.

He answered, "Yes, Ma'am, but let me take over for the officer who's directing traffic. He was the first one at the scene."

I got a good story on my day off and had a good time showing my granddaughter what my job entailed. She took the newspaper I sent her to school and told all about being a reporter for a day.

Have any of you been able to share with children or grandchildren an enthusiasm for writing? Please comment and tell us about that experience.

Pat Radaker


  1. No, Pat--other than constantly reading to my grandkids. Which makes me realize I should be doing something about that.

  2. Yes, my g'daughters and I have "created" a number of stories together -- both orally and in writing. (But nothing we've submitted for publication -- not yet anyway, but we've plans.) IT'S SO MUCH FUN! Thankfully, my two older teenage g'd's are great writers, and I expect my two younger g'children to be so also (as well as those yet unborn). We're WORD people in more ways than one. Thank you, O God. . . My youngest g'daughter who's in first grade wrote me her first "non-scribble" story message on my frig a few days ago -- "I love you. I like to play."

  3. Pat, I really liked your post. I, too, have the third generation (second also!) coming on as writers! Good job, woman.