Princesses Don’t Go Camping

22 Jul

Even though I have written a book about cancer. And I write a blog about cancer. The truth is that cancer is pretty much my least favorite thing in the whole world to write about.

I much prefer writing silly stories for children.

A few years ago, my husband Dan and I, along with our three kids, were enjoying a camping trip deep in a forest near an Idaho lake. All five of us (six if you count the dog) slept in our small camper.

One overcast and moonless night, I suddenly awoke. As I lay there wide awake, I got the best idea ever for a children’s story. Perhaps I dreamed it. I’m not sure. But the amazing thing was that not only did I have the idea, but I had the whole story, word for word, clear as day right there in my head.

From past experience, I knew that if I waited till morning to write down this story, it would be gone. However, I certainly did not want to risk waking up Dan & the kids in the middle of the night. Yet, the story was too good to let go…

So ever so slowly, I eased out of bed. The darkness in the camper was absolute. Silently feeling my way along the kitchen counter, I was pleased to come across a paper napkin leftover from dinner. Now if only I could find a pen, pencil, or even a crayon. I kept searching with my hands. Under the table, I finally found something that would work — a colored pencil my daughter must have dropped the previous day. I just hoped it wasn’t the white one.

There in the dark, on a paper napkin, with a colored pencil, while the rest of my family slept, I wrote the entire story.

This month that very same story was published in the Highlights for Children magazine. It’s called “Princesses Don’t Go Camping.” If you happen to come across a copy of the July issue of Highlights, feel free to take a look at the story. Of all the children’s stories I have written over the years, this one is my most favorite.

I love stories about princesses. The princesses always get to live happily ever after.

 And they never, ever get cancer.

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3 Responses to “Princesses Don’t Go Camping”

  1. Becky July 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    I found the short story on the internet just now. It’s really cute, Jill.

  2. Janet July 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    God certainly blessed one Princess I know with just the right attributes that make a Princess! Thanks! Friend for sharing.

  3. writergirldreams July 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    I’m a sucker for the whole princess thing, although this Princess loves to camp 🙂 I will look for it! Congratulations Jill, that is wonderful!

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