Spring Musings

“Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”

“The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”

[Steven Spielberg Presents Pink and the Brain WB - 1995-2001]

Not your classic beginning for musings about spring, is it? It’s a bit of a stretch but the moment I started thinking about springtime and new beginnings this cartoon popped into my head. It’s amazing what an evening of channel surfing will do to one’s mind!

There is a method to my madness though. When my children were young, I spent hours alongside them watching these two animated mice chase Brain’s dream of world domination. Individually, the characters shouldn’t have been appealing. Brain’s arrogant in his superior knowledge, his goal completely self-serving. Pinky’s a ditz, one of those TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) characters that are usually killed off in the first five minutes of today’s horror movies. As a team, they’re funny…and brilliant.

What I particularly liked about these two silly mice were the life lessons they taught to my children. Lessons like….

    1. Set your sights high. Brain’s goal seems impossible, but there’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars.
    2. We can’t always get what we want. As much as we’d like to get everything we desire, there are some things we can’t control.
    3. Never stop chasing your dreams. No matter how many times Brain’s schemes failed, his dream of world domination remains strong.
    4. You don’t have to be a brainiac to be smart. Pinky is dingy most of the time but his completely different mindset often leads him to different conclusions…and occasional flashes of brilliance.
    5. Tomorrow is another day. Pinky and the Brain always end each episode on a positive note. Brain’s already thinking about a new strategy and Pinky’s prepared to assist him.
Which leads me back to how this all ties into writing and springtime. We all know it’s a time of renewal. Flowers peek out of the snow – at least in Colorado – and trees begin to bud. The air warms. Birds nest. It’s also time to set aside our winter-sluggish writing habits and view the world anew…like Pinky and the Brain.

Don’t dwell on what you can’t control. The industry changes. Lines dry up. The editor who requested your story may suddenly get married and leave your dream publishing house, but that’s unimportant. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Write the story of your heart.” In the scheme of things, that is the only thing we control. To accomplish our dreams of publication – whether it’s the first time or that next story – we must write as often and as long as possible.

Didn’t reach your goal today? That reset button is always at your fingertips.

If your dreams have languished, breathe new life into them. Today. Wake up your creativity. Take an online class. Go to local chapter meetings and hang with your peers. Blow the dust off your address book and call that critique group you haven’t seen in months. Do whatever it takes to make your dreams blossom and flourish again. Then, raise your sights another notch. Two notches!

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars. Tomorrow we take over the world!



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