Welcome to Day 1 of the 6-day virtual tour for my new book Please Explain “Anxiety” to Me!
I’ve always liked to write, ever since I was little. In fourth grade I wrote a play in my free time about the severe drought we were having in New York City. I suppose it must have been pretty boring to be a student in the audience of “Waste Not Want Not” when my class performed it for the rest of the school, but I was on the stage taking bows so I didn’t have to endure those 30 minutes of “entertainment.”The play was a hand-written labor of love that challenged me to create a speaking part for all 34 students in my class. Back in those days when we only had seven channels on TV, my friends and I spent a lot of time writing in our diaries and applying our imagination to the everyday objects and activities that surrounded us. Not only did I enjoy putting words on paper, but I also liked the act of writing with a pen on paper- and I still do!
As a teenager I wrote poems; some dark, some romantic, many introspective and some merely clever rhymes. I remember traveling by subway on the weekends to rehearse in a boro-wide band in a Queens’ neighborhood, and being intrigued by the faces of the strap hangars that surrounded me. They too, became the object of my prose when I returned home to my Bic pen and improvised journal.
Years later I developed my storytelling skills when bribery failed to get my kids into bed at the end of a day. Instead, it became a nightly ritual for me to invent scenarios where flying eagles transported my sons to far away places (and home again of course!) filled with all the fetishes that consume little boys. Each flight would bring my sons new adventures, new powers and crossbreeds of protective animal friends.
Now I am a child psychologist and Registered Play Therapist and my kids are grown. I get to work with youngsters every day, both in school and in my private practice where I use verbal narratives to help children heal. One of the stories I tell time and again to my anxious little friends is about the difference between real and imagined danger and the signals our brain sends us that makes our hearts beat faster, our muscles get stronger and makes our stomachs feel wiggly. I use dinosaur toys to act out the information and to capture the interest of my wee clients. I had told the story of real danger vs. anxiety so many times that I almost had it memorized before I realized that children beyond my practice could profit. That’s when I decided to put pen to paper again and approach Victor Volkman, from Loving Healing Press about publishing my second book for me.
Follow Day 2 of my tour tomorrow at http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com Leave a comment every day of my tour and your name will automatically be entered to win a Gift Box Bundle – filled with books and other goodies – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.