K I S S I N G – The Joys of Research When Writing a Novel


Don’t you wonder what I’m up to when in the middle of a chapter this morning I had to hit the research button to be sure I remembered correctly the words to a play ground song. Sure enough I had forgotten about ‘sitting in a tree.’

Remember this?….two girls 12 feet apart turn a jump rope, you enter as the rope turns and you jump to a rhyme until you miss. Then you take the place of the rope turner and the next child in line takes a turn. Thank goodness for the little girl that remains within me. She thinks of the most luscious things and has influenced my writing throughout this second novel, Stardust. (working title) She barged into a scene and the next thing I knew, Katherine, the lead character, was singing K I S S I N G.

Hope this playground rhyme brings a smile. I’ve teared up writing it down for you. The long summers of childhood….ah…unlike THIS summer! Tomorrow can’t possibly be August 1, 2014

(Name) and (Name), sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.


 Jumping Dutch Doubles


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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7 Responses to K I S S I N G – The Joys of Research When Writing a Novel

  1. I learned that rhyme a little differently. We used to form a circle around the jump jump and sing – ‘(Name) and (Name), sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes (next kid) in the baby carriage.’ The next kid would then have to quickly jump in as the first kid jumped out.

  2. Ah, this brings back some memories! I don’t remember skipping rope to that rhyme, just teasing various friends with it!

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Is that you jumping in the last photo? Nice memory.

  4. Remember it well be we didn’t use it as a jump rope song. It was just something we said to tease someone about the opposite sex when we were all too young to even think about the opposite sex.

  5. Margy King says:

    Hi Stepheny, Thanks for reminding me of some special memories. I hope you are enjoying some time in your garden this summer. Warmly, Margy King

  6. Deborah says:

    I had just been telling some of the younger generation about this rhyme last week. They thought I was crazy, but here it is. I didn’t make it up. 😉

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