Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guest Blog - The Christmas Village by Melissa Goodwin

Finding Your Inner 10-Year-Old
Melissa Ann Goodwin

I have a black and white picture of my fifth grade class hanging in my office. We’re sitting straight-backed and bright-eyed at our desks. We look smart and well-behaved, except for Robert, who has a smirk on his face and his very own row - for good reasons - close to Miss Cronin’s desk. We are 10 years old, full of possibilities and promise.

This photograph reminds me of something very important. It reminds me of who I really am. When I was 10, I knew exactly what I liked and didn’t like; what I dreamed of, what I loved, what excited me, what scared me.

I loved to read. I loved school. I liked those little troll dolls with the crazy orange hair. I liked my best friend Priscilla, cats, gathering chestnuts, Rex Trailer, hot dogs, going to the beach and playing dodge ball. I hated liver, eggplant, scary movies, and mean people. I loved walking home from school and writing stories in my head. By the age of 10, I already knew that I wanted to write the kind of books that I loved to read.

As I got older, I veered away from what I knew when I was 10. What other people said and thought began to carry more weight. There were norms about the path that life should take. I’m not alone – this happens to almost everyone. We get new ideas and we try new things. There’s nothing wrong with that. But later, many of us find we’ve wandered rather far from what we think of as our “true selves.” We feel empty, burned out and lost. We say that we “need to find ourselves again.” That expression implies that we once knew who we were, but have forgotten! When we feel this way, what we really need to do is rediscover our inner 10-year-olds.

But how do we do that? Well, here are a few ideas that may help:
• Close your eyes and picture yourself at age 10. Who was your best friend? Your mortal enemy? What did you do after school? What games did you play? What did you want with all your heart to get for Christmas that year? What subjects did you love – and hate?
• Write it all down.
• Spend five minutes every day remembering the details of your 10th year. When you remember something new, write that down too.
• Find a picture of yourself at that age and put it on the fridge. Every day, ask the person in the picture what he’d want to do today if he was in charge of your life. Consider doing it!
• Re-read a book or watch a movie that you loved as a kid, and remind yourself why you loved it.

If you think there is something you should be doing with your life, but you’re not sure what it is, remembering what you loved at age 10 can help you find your way. No matter what kind of work you do, it can only be enhanced by asking your inner 10-year-old to help. She knows your true essence and can help you tap into the deep well of expression that is uniquely you. Invite your 10-year-old self back in, and see if you don’t find a renewed sense of wonder and playfulness in everything you do.

Here is the trailer for her book

Author Bio

Melissa Ann Goodwin is a native New Englander, now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, artist J. Richard Secor. She has written extensively for Fun for Kidz, Boys’ Quest and Hopscotch for Girls. She was a regular feature article contributor to the Caregiver's Home Companion for more than five years. Her work has appeared in Guideposts’ Angels on Earth, Caregivers’ Home Companion, Caring Today, The Lutheran Digest, The Peak Magazine, The Andover Townsman, and the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. Her poetry took 10th prize in The Writer’s Digest 2010 annual competition. The Christmas Village is her first novel.

Author's Websites:

Melissa Ann Goodwin

The Christmas Village


Twitter: @GoodwinMelissa


here is the link to Amazon

Link to Smashwords


  1. Sue, thanks so much for hosting me on the WOW blog tour! I'm looking forward to chatting with you and your friends here.

  2. I still love those little troll dolls, in fact, I think I have one here somewhere...
    Thanks for a great post!

  3. I still like the trolls too, and secretly wish I had some. I used to make houses out of boxes for them, and decorate them.

  4. Melissa, thanks for the trip down memory lane! I am going to have to dig far and hard for a picture of myself at age 10, some 40 years ago! I love the idea of finding myself now by remembering who I was then! Great post!

  5. What an excellent exercise! I like this a lot. You are right- my ten year old self was positive about all the likes and dislikes. I am looking forward to the insights I get from this activity.

    Thanks for sharing-

  6. It's funny remembering back to that time, particularly thinking of my "mortal enemy", as it was probably this one guy, who I then became friends with shortly after. Great exercise though. And a much simpler time.


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