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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Adventures in Storyland

Shaking up my writing life in a Crazy Barn!
Where do writers go on vacation? To Storyland, of course!

It sounds like a lame joke, but in my case it's true. I just returned from a mini-trip to New Hampshire with my husband and son. And we did indeed go to Storyland, a children's theme park.

Storyland is less overwhelming (and way less expensive) than Disneyland. It's also perfect for a five-year-old book lover and his book-loving parents. It has a retro feel -- parts of the park, and some rides, are decades old -- and its old-timey sweetness is a nice counterbalance to the mass marketing of childhood on TV and in the aisles of Target. You can ride to a Cinderella's castle in a big orange pumpkin. Enter the house of the Three Bears and lie down in Baby Bear's bed. Crawl into a shoe, formerly occupied by the Little Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe. Soar in a Dutch clog, whirl through a cuckoo clock, glide in a flying fish, or levitate and rotate in a crazy barn.

Humpty Dumpty, cracking me up
I've never been big on amusement parks, but having a child forces you to leave your preferences and your quiet routines and ride the occasional roller coaster. This is not a bad thing, I've decided. Anything that takes you a little off your beaten path and gives you some new perspective is good for your writing life. If twirling in a fiberglass turtle, at high speeds, won't shake loose a few new ideas, I don't know what will!

What do you do to shake up your writing life, or your life in general? What vacations have taken you out of your comfort zones?