Thursday, March 5, 2015

How Did Lonnie Learn to Fly?

How did Lonnie the Loon learn to fly? What gave me the idea to write such a story?
"Lonnie the Loon Learns to Fly" page 3

Hubby and I live in Arizona and have a second home in Minnesota. I like to call us Sun Swallows instead of Snow Birds. Snow Birds fly south for the winter to escape the cold. Sun Swallows fly north for the summer to escape the heat. You feel the sun heat up, you swallow hard, and you fly.

We drive to Minnesota because hubby does not really fly - like in airplanes. We have a diesel Dodge Ram truck, and we haul our fifth wheel trailer. It’s big – it’s awkward – and it’s scary when we are traveling at 60 miles per hour down the highway with semi trucks coming at us from all sides. So I choose not to drive the truck when we travel – it’s just as well, because hubby wouldn’t trust me behind the wheel of his manly truck anyway. So I sit in the passenger’s seat and fiddle away the 8 – 10 hour days sitting on my derrière. I read - I sleep - I play Words With Friends - I doze off - I stalk people on Facebook - I nod my head - I sleep; and then I repeat all that.

One day I was gazing out the window trying to assign shapes to clouds. As a little girl, I used to do this in the summertime – lie on the cool grass and watch the clouds float by. There’s a turtle…oh, look, there’s a girl’s face. That looks like a train. You get the idea. And the clouds change shape so quickly they become something else before you can point out the turtle, or face, to your companion.

Ah – ha – it hit me. What if a Momma bird was teaching her baby bird to fly, but instead of learning to fly, he wanted to do all kinds of tricks? What if this little bird was so curious about nature, that he wanted to imitate it? So I had my baby bird change shapes like the clouds.

I write in threes, so I had to think of two other things this little chirper could do while flying. Hmmm, I looked out the window again and saw a river. The river flows in different directions, so I had my baby flying in different directions: to the right, to the left, and under his Mom – once again, I have my three.

I needed one more movement for the bird. The wind always blows in the plains states as we travel north, so I had my juvenile ask questions about the wind blowing in his face while he was flying. Being wise like Mothers are, Mom had a good explanation for the wind. So, I added a little moral to the story to tie it all together.

The next question was, what kind of bird should be my main character? Minnesota’s state bird is the Common Loon. Of course…I adore Loons. My little baby bird will be a Loon. What shall I name him? Not only do I write in threes, I’m all about alliteration, so I dubbed my baby bird, Lonnie the Loon. Lonnie isn’t really a bird – he’s from the waterfowl family – but it works.

And that’s how Lonnie the Loon Learned to Fly.

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