My husband and I recently returned from a lovely week in Paris. One afternoon, after spending the day walking and sightseeing, we stopped at a little pub near the Place de L’Odéon. The beer was refreshing, but what really captured my interest was the entertainment. Just outside, two men (pictured above) were performing reggae with voice and accordion. That’s right – accordion!
I, too, could have joined in, had only I been willing to try something new way back in 7th grade. I was a shy child and my mother worried that I would struggle to make friends. I was about to start school at an enormous junior high in the U.S after four years attending a much smaller school in Paris, France.
You can imagine my mother’s delight when her wonderful, full-of-life friend, Leona, offered to help me break in by teaching me to play the accordion. Just think, my mother reasoned, after a few lessons, I could soon be the “it girl”, pulling out my accordion at all those junior high get-togethers.
I shuddered at the idea and flatly refused the offer. So, alas, I will never know how my life might have differed had I taken up the accordion. It would certainly have taken the role of “class mom” or “visiting school author” to a whole new level.
I’m better at trying new things now – especially when it comes to writing. After all, it’s when we stretch ourselves by writing a scene from a new angle, or trying a new genre, or experimenting with point of view, that our writing grows. And that growth is what makes the writing process so exciting, at least for me. I may not play the accordion (yet), but this week I plan to stretch myself by working on a new story that unfolds backwards. I’ve never done that before, but, oom-pah-pah, it sure sounds fun… almost as fun as playing the accordion!
Happy writing, all!