I learned I was a natural essayist in either 9th or 10th grade. I had the same English teacher both years, so I find it difficult to parse out my many run-ins with this particular teacher into distinct time frames. It was a 2-year slog of life lessons.

At some point in those two years, she assigned us to write a short story, so I wrote about the lifespan of a piece of pocket lint. I received my paper back with a great big F on it with a note stating my piece was a delightful essay, but since it was not a short story I wouldn’t receive credit for it.

Thus began my relationship with the essay.

While harsh, my teacher wasn’t wrong; my piece was an essay. And I do naturally gravitate toward essay writing. I’ve long believed I have no penchant for writing fiction, and I’m pretty sure I began believing that in 9th or 10th grade.

My quagmire, however, is that I have so many novel ideas inside me. A friend once pointed out that God wouldn’t have given me so many ideas for so many novels, if He didn’t plan for me to write them.

So I’ve been priming myself by finding my characters in Happy Color and remembering their stories.

Today’s character is from one of my earliest novel ideas. I hadn’t thought about it since my 21-year-old nephew was a baby (and that idea, while novel, wasn’t new to me even at that point – I had been pondering it for a few years). But when I saw this image today, I remembered. Her story flooded my mind, as if we had recently sat down to chat. And I wanted to tell her story. And many others, too.

So when my bit of daily creativity is coloring by number, the creating that occurs extends far beyond the image itself. I’m creating the novel writer who has been trying to surface since 9th or 10th grade.

And that’s my bit of creativity for today.

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