We were looking at a picture of a child cooking with his neighbor, making a cake to celebrate a visit with Grandma. The other teacher had already defined ordinary and extraordinary with the second grade kids, and now they were staring intently at the picture trying to figure out what was so special about it.
I loved watching it, seeing the discovery in the faces when the teacher took the cake down to its most basic ingredients and asked how they'd enjoy eating a spoonful of flour, or oil, or an egg. I particularly loved this example because 4 years ago, as I was writing my second novel, Untying the Knot, my heroine used a very similar analogy to help explain God's involvement in our world to an already jaded 10 year old.
I am re-editing this manuscript now in fact; preparing it for publication. And, of course, as part of this revision process I ask myself if the content makes sense.... is it what the heroine would say... would the other characters understand it... will my readers understand it? Sitting there yesterday, watching the kids' faces as they realized that even with ordinary ingredients something extraordinary can be created, reassured me I had been on the right track with my writing.
It also demonstrated the concept in a new way. Because, just as my heroine prays for some guidance in how to explain the mystery of God, so too did I pray as I was writing that section.
“Well, I don’t really think I want anyone nearby me that can do such awful things,” Chloe said bitterly.
Gabriella didn’t answer for a minute. Any ideas here? she prayed again. The thought of croutons returned but this time it made sense in a weird way.
I must have asked God the same question. Really? Croutons is the best you can do? But I went with it, and through the mystery that is writing, the story framed itself around this very important concept of ordinary to extraordinary.
And, if anyone were to ask why I love writing so much I would say it is because of this, that every time I write I get to experience a Higher Power. Ordinary words, paper and pen or a computer, when mixed with imagination and Grace, create the extraordinary.