Urgently and conspiratorially, I whispered to the four intrepid young explorers to “follow me down the secret corridor!” It was not a secret until precisely that moment, and even then not for very long, considering that I told it right away. The four young explorers, fortunately, could be trusted. They tiptoed toward the doorway of the lightswitch-dark room taking long and elegant steps. Running ahead, I poised myself by the doorknob, nodding at them to make sure we were all action-ready. My hand reached inside, flipped the switch, and threw the door wide onto an alarmingly fantastical wonderland, glowing shades of lime green. I could not tell if the silence was shock or awe, but I may never know. Maybe it was both.
After their heads had spun as their small t-shirted bodies slowly turned to every wall teeming with krazy-glued treasures, I told the four that they were the first, and that their mission was to return with word pictures plundered from the Inspiration Room. The stickers – an astronaut, a shark, an ice-cream cone – glinted on their brand-new Moleskine writer’s notebooks as they unsnapped the elastics holding them closed and readied their ballpoint pens. For the next ten minutes, they dragged their feet through the magenta shag carpet while they looked back and forth between the walls, the ceiling, and the blank page in front of them. Every exclamation – “Whoa, what’s that doorknob doing in the middle of the wall?!”, or “Why are all those babies in trees?!” – elicited the same delighted reaction from me: Write It Down. And, being the supreme explorers that they were, they did. We silently reentered Headquarters with the matching strides of those returning from a long and famously eventful journey — notebooks, of course, firmly in hand.