Halloween last week and the coming holiday season always remind me that I’m not a crafty-type person. I wish I were. I used to do a bit of knitting and still enjoy making a winter scarf now and then, and in years gone by I sewed many of my kids’ clothes, but, as always, I love writing more. And that’s how I’ve been spending my time lately. With revisions due soon on my next book, Last Chance Cowboy, the second in my new series, Kansas Cowboys, I’d better!
But, wait. A favorite craft story from real life did just come to mind. During one family visit not long ago, my grandson Jack asked if we could put together a wooden race car kit (this story’s inciting incident). “Sure,” I said, thinking this would be a quick, fun project to share when all the other adults were otherwise occupied. The simple directions were right there. How hard could it be?
But the tiny nails made hammering them in where they were supposed to go all but impossible (conflict). Jack tried first but couldn’t do it so he handed me the hammer. Easy, I still thought then proceeded to bend three out of every four nails. I was soon humiliated. Have you ever tried to straighten out a small nail on a not-very-big wooden form with a miniature claw hammer? Talk about futility. I’m here to tell you it can’t be done (black moment).
However. Together, we were undaunted, and we finally managed to finish the little car (crisis/climax/resolution)—and it actually worked! The cool decals to decorate went on much easier than those nails went in. We were, of course, missing a few. But in the end, I must say, we were very impressed with ourselves.
Better yet, that story is one we still talk about over every time I see him. Jack loves to tease me that “Nana wasn’t very good at building the car.” Which is certainly true. Then, all in the spirit of fun, I tease him right back. We laugh ourselves silly. But the real success was the special bond we forged that day—and having such a happy memory to cherish forever.
Here’s Jack with one of his very first craft projects, looking proud. Actually, he’s a much better builder than I could ever hope to be. We’re thinking he may become an engineer when he grows up.
There are all kinds of crafts and I don’t really excel at any of them. For instance, I’ve never been able to quite figure out crochet, although my father loved to make beautiful afghans! And come to think--how could I overlook this?--writing itself is a craft.
What’s your favorite craft? Are you good at it? Or, like me, not so good?
As far as my writing projects go, this fall has been particularly good. The Reluctant Rancher, Book #1 of the Kansas Cowboys, was my October release. A Heartwarming Holiday, a collection of fifteen novellas spanning the season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s by fifteen Heartwarming authors came out on October 11th. My novella is Thankfully Yours. And on November 1st, A Heartwarming Thanksgiving, thirteen short stories by Heartwarming authors, was published. Mine is called “Her Thanksgiving Soldier.” You can find more information and buy links on my website with newsletter signup, http://www.leighriker.com. Lots of happy reading!