A long time ago, in a not so faraway land, a little girl used to love to listen to her mother tell her a ‘good night’ story.  Her mother made up the best bed-time stories and told them with the most wonderful, soothing voice, which would cause the little girl to drift off into a richly imaginative, dream-filled sleep of castles, magical frogs, and silly princesses.
As the little girl got older and learned to read, she discovered a large, heavy, thick book of fairy tales.  The stories were similar to the ones her mother had told her but longer and far more detailed.
The little girl spent hours and hours and hours reading the book over and over and over again until she had firmly captured in her mind precisely how these faraway lands looked: Trees so tall and so green that no matter how hard she colored using the darkest green in her crayon box, she could not match them. Trails in the woods which were carpeted with the finest and prettiest needles that only revealed the smoothest of stumps and intertwined tree roots.  And houses which were the prettiest cottages you could ever imagine.  Even the peasants had pretty houses with neatly thatched roofs and windows adorned with the deepest red flowers anyone had ever seen.  The kings and queens lived in castles which were built so high on the greenest hills that they almost touched the fluffy clouds floating by.
And then … the little girl grew up and although she stopped reading the big book of fairy tales, she never stopped dreaming about visiting this faraway land that the Grimm Brothers had so cleverly crafted …
As we get older it is only natural that we begin to recognize the difference between what is imaginary and what is real.  However, as “real” as my life turned, filled at times, with deep sorrow and significant responsibilities, I have never let go of the images I crafted as a little girl about the beauty of a faraway land.  When my own children were little, I spent many hours telling them ‘good night’ stories wherein I was able to intricately describe these settings which, although dormant, had remained indelible in my mind.
Although my everyday life was not creative, the rekindling of these images of my ‘faraway land’ soon sparked my desire to create and write my own stories. Not that I could ever dream of outdoing a Grimm.  
Fortunately I realized that traveling to faraway places was also a way to feel inspired, even if it wasn’t to my enchanted forest.  Although today, I can confirm that my journeys have brought me to the ACTUAL places which inspired the Grimm Brothers to write their magical tales and they are just like I had imagined them to be. For me, the opportunity to walk in the woods, next to a brook which gently babbles along, up to a castle which seems to touch the clouds, is my own fairytale come true!
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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