Pretty (incredible) things: teething tot produces fantasy novel.


A little over 4 years ago, I gave birth to a wee baby boy who kept me up nights with feeding… then teething… and, like any normal person, I mostly just suffered through it and complained a lot.

Shortly thereafter, my friend, Curtis, and his wife, Neena, went through the same ordeal. The main difference? Curtis managed his time better. While up at night with his teething tot, Curtis began concocting an idea for a fantasy novel.

(This is the part where most folks would have shrugged it off, chalked it up to being overtired and bored, convinced themselves it was silly, moved on with life).

(But not Curtis).

He whipped out his phone and started hammering that thing out in the Notes app. Before he knew it, 20 pages were written. And then, like any adult human busy working and raising little humans, Curtis forgot about it.

It wasn’t until later, when his friend, Sean, came across the story and started asking questions, that Curtis again picked up the project. Together, he and Sean crafted the rest of the plot during their morning commutes to work.

Recently, the book was picked up by a publisher, and voila: Curtis is about to become an official co-author of his first novel.

As I have yet to read it, I can’t say whether or not the book itself is incredible (although I’m certain that it is). But, holy shit, how incredible is the story behind the story? Here are the amazing takeaways I mined from this scenario:

  • Muster up the courage to begin. I don’t know how your mind works, but when an idea pops into my head – whether it’s for a story, an invention, an art piece, or a dinner dish – I usually push it aside with excuses of “not enough time,” “it’s probably already been done,” “it’s probably stupid.” What if it’s not? What if it leads somewhere you never imagined?
  • Use what you have. None of us adults have all that much free time on our hands. We’re working. We’re making time for friends, kids, ourselves. If we wait for “the perfect time” to accomplish anything, it will never happen. Curtis utilized tiny pockets of his time to slowly build something huge in bite-sized pieces. That means we can, too!
  • Let it out. Curtis isn’t a novelist, in the sense that his biggest dream in life was to write this story. He’s a Natural Resources Director, law school graduate, husband, father, horseman. But he had this story sitting his brain, see, and he just let it out. Because the time had come. Because art deserves expression, whatever your art might be, whether or not you consider yourself a titled “artist.”

So tell me: what’s sitting inside of you waiting to be let out?

What if its time has come?

What if you started today?

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