When I attended the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference last summer, Julie Cohen ran an excellent workshop on the skills and techniques Disney Pixar employ when writing the stories for their films. I am moved by animated films. I cry when I watch Cars, and just last week, Toy Story 3, no matter how hard I fought, turned me into a blubbering wreck, much to the amusement of my son. My daughter consoled me by advising she cried upon first viewing.
We were watching it on the Disney Channel, in Orlando. We were having a holiday of a lifetime – my first ever with my children, my last trip abroad being my honeymoon to Italy in 1996.
Since I was a child, I dreamed of visiting DisneyWorld. I still have a 1973 Disney annual – actually, my daughter is now it’s owner, but I love that book.
I remember seeing images of Epcot on Blue Peter, hearing about friends who had dined with Mickey Mouse, and falling in love with the magic and beauty of the fairy castle that opened and completed every Disney film. I’ve had such a great time watching all the old movies with my children over the years. ‘Pete Pan, Pete Pan!’ my daughter would squeal. Fifteen times in one week we watched Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys defeat Cap’n Hook. Even my son tells me if I don’t believe in fairies, one will die. Tink’s real in this house.
The funny thing is that at the 2012 RNA Conference, after Julie’s workshop, I collected a complimentary fortune cookie. I ate the biscuit, then unfolded the thin, white strip of paper, to reveal my fate. This is what it read: ‘All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.’ Walt Disney. Coincidence that the man himself made a virtual appearance after I’d taken a workshop on story structure, with positive examples from Disney Pixar?
I’ve kept that slip of paper. It sits with my Romaniac business cards.
My dream to take my family to DisneyWorld came true.
Thank you, Julie, for sharing your knowledge, and thank you, Walt Disney, for showing me the strength of belief and commitment.
Now to continue pursuing my writing dream…