Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Your Imagination Doesn't Have a Budget

"Your imagination doesn't have a budget," one of my fifth grade Writopia students said today, stopping me cold. We were discussing the differences between books and movies, two wonderful ways of telling stories, but books let you use your mind's eye, while movies do that work for you.

Your imagination doesn't have a budget.

"That's the quote of the month!" I said, pleased to see the happy grins all around when I wrote her words on the dry erase board in our writing lounge before we got town to the brass tacks of accessing our creative energy.

My husband (also a writer) and I been doing boring, grown-up things like budgeting and worrying about budgeting all week with our upcoming move to the suburbs. It's been hurting my brain, and freaking me out. But my imagination, my writing life, doesn't have to have a budget. This is where I can roam free and be child-like. If I give myself permission to do this, then am I able to do the grown-up stuff like plan for the future with my family? Yes!

And no-one taught me better than my grandmother, Madeleine L'Engle, from watching her live her creative life with verve, while being responsible to those around her. When I get really scared, all I have to do is think of my Gran and our similar circumstances when she was in her 30's and 40's - (although, when she was my age, she was just about to move back to the city after her ten-year-foray into country life, and a couple oy years later would become a household name with A Wrinkle in Time.) And I know that her commitment to balancing writing and family life (and survival) have inspired others as well. She would have gotten a kick out of the girl's quote as well and wholeheartedly agreed!


  1. Great quote - it is now on my piano - thanks to your young Writopia-muse! Out of the mouths of babes - I LOVE it!

    Do you have a date for the big move? At that time you will need to 'budget' for receiving some long distance love and good wishes being sent to you - right from my heart.

    Also, watch your snail mail........:)xoxomjc

  2. Oh MaryJo - thank you so much - having you in my corner means the world to me! And I LOVE that you put the quote on your piano - I can't wait to tell her!

  3. What a wonderful idea - that our imagination doesn't have a budget. That is a glorious thought as money seems to get tighter and tighter every day. I'm going to put the quote where I can see it as I work on my own novel.

    I loved your grandmother's books. I am reading through them all in the order they were published. I'm just about to enter into 1979 with Ladder of Angels. I am looking forward to reading your books.

  4. Thanks for writing Cora! And I love that you are reading my Gran's bools in order - have fun!

  5. A fifth grader?! Whoa! I saw that quote and I figured it had come from a teen, or from a teacher. And this is why the Writopia community keeps teaching me, and why I need to keep going back.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.