By Ellen Rothberg
Writing is kind of like a trip to Disney World for me! I think about doing it often, I plan, plan, plan to do it and after what seems like an eternity of waiting, the climax swings by like a comet and I am deposited back at home with only my memories to relive the magic. Actually, the reliving the magic applies more to Disney than to my writing product. The writing doesn’t always produce a magical memory or moment. In My Disney-esque way of thinking, I plan to write the way I would plan a visit to the Magic Kingdom. I want to get the best bang for my theoretical buck. I don’t want to wait too long in the lines. I don’t want to miss a thing. So, what would my day really look like if writing were a Day at Disney?
What day at Disney wouldn’t begin with a trip to Adventureland (Adventureland is best visited early in the day or late in the afternoon)? I write in the shower. It’s my Adventureland. Writing without paper and pencil is such a challenge. Imagine the adventure involved in hanging onto that fabulous idea while trying to simultaneously dry off while dragging a squeegee across the glass. I emerge, wet hair leaving a trail from the bathroom across the carpet to the pad and pen I leave on my bedside table. The trek from bathroom to getting the idea on paper loses something in the transition. It sounded so much better in my Adventureland shower.
Continuing the Adventureland experience brings me to the Pirates of the Caribbean. Like my writing, the Pirates ride made me feel awesome while experiencing the thrill of being caught in a pirate battle. It is so difficult, though, to capture that sense of adventure and thrill in the written word. I can always tell someone what a great time I had at Disney, but will they really get what I mean? Isn’t that sense of adventure really something one has to experience for themselves? Being shot at by Disney pirates isn’t really the same as staging a gunfight scene in a novel. Where’s the real terror? Well, I guess we can’t go scaring the Disney visitors to death now, can we? But, that would be a fantastic piece of writing!
On to the Swiss Family Treehouse, which I hear, may be tinkered with in the not too distant future. It appears that the Disney know-it-alls think that it would be more in keeping with the times to have it become a Pixie Dust Tree, home to the Tinkerbell fairies so popular in the Disney films. “No,” my writer senses scream! One should not mess with anything having to do with Johann David Wyss. Shouldn’t I be able to write an adventure book that could stand the test of time for two hundred years? I would be happy to write something that could qualify as important for two hundred minutes.
And the Enchanted Tiki Room. I’ve read some comments online from parents of preschoolers who thought the Tiki Bird Show was scary. I write for children. I don’t get how the Tiki birds could scare even the most timid child. When I write for children, I am conscious of trying to write on their level and I always try to protect their little minds, but, my beloved Tiki birds, scary, really? I am always writing (well, not really always) with the Disney songs running through my head. I have never been scared by the Tiki birds. I will, however, ask my grown children if the Tiki birds left a scar.
Oh, the metaphorical thrill of writing as a Disney Adventureland experience. Real or imagined. It’s an adventure for me to muster up the time and energy to finish a piece of writing. Finishing my writing, hmmm, Fantasyland up next?