Monday, June 27, 2011

Mommy Monday: Tapping the Fountain of Youth

There's never a dull moment with these kids around!
If you've got children, you've got stories.  And not just real-life ones, either.

When I've needed a fresh, new idea for a picture book or short story, I have turned to my household fountain of youth:  my children.  They always come up with something I never would have thought of. 

For example, I once asked my daughter what I should write about next, and she said, "Two Elizabeths." 

The possibilities started dancing in my head.  Twin princesses?  A princess and a pauper with the same name?  A historical fiction of Queen Elizabeth with multiple personality disorder?

That idea eventually transformed into a whimsical, rhyming poem/picture book manuscript called "The Dirtiest Princesses," in which Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II (twin princesses who acted nothing like real princesses) prefer madness and mayhem over their royal bath.  I've not sent it out, but my daughter requests it again and again!

And her latest requests?  Anything with sharks, or mixing strange foods together.  Humor is definitely on her list.

In addition to tapping the fountain of youth for ideas, they're also tapped for support and encouragement.  Recently, when I carried my first-ever submissions to the mailbox, I asked them what they thought - would the publishing houses turn mommy's stories into real, color picture books?  My two-year-old always says "yeah!" and I get a big hug.  My five-year-old also said yes.  But, then after she thought it over, said "But if they don't you still can read us the stories, right?"


Being a mommy and a writer is really nice sometimes.  Are you a mommy writer?  Do you read your stories to your children?  Ask them for ideas?  Challenges and celebrations, I welcome stories from mommy writers.


KatieC said...

I absolutely get ideas from my children! I love writing for kids, with kids : )

Miranda Paul said...

That's great, Katie! I find it easier now to write for children than when I first took a course on children's lit (and didn't have kids back then). Fantastic!

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