We settled back on the beach blanket to watch him build castles and throw rocks into the ocean. And we saw the exact moment when he looked back to find us and then the sudden moment when he panicked and began running wildly down the beach. From his vantage point all the umbrellas and towels and blankets must have looked the same. Steve jumped up and ran down the beach to "rescue" Peter.
So 25 years later I had a story idea, something about a child who finds his way home or back on the trail by being observant. The original draft took place in the woods but it wasn't working.
Then I remembered Peter on the beach. The rest is history. Except any writer knows it is not that easy. It took some time.
And now Peter has a son who is five. We spent some time at the beach recently.
This beach was in Hawaii. Back at the house we took a break from sand and sun and ocean and I read A Beach Tail to my grandson, Ethan. What a joy to share this tale inspired by his dad to my grandchild.
But then something else happened. That afternoon back at the beach I gave Ethan a stick and suggested he write his name.
He did and then...
He drew a lion. (A nod here to Floyd Cooper)
And then he drew a tail!
Later he read A Beach Tail again.
An unexpected pleasure for this Grandma who had not carried this tale so far when she first wrote the book. An author never knows whose hands her books will end up in and what they will inspire. What a journey we take when we begin on a fresh page for a new tale..