Skip to main content

I'm expecting my kids to teach me more humility.

Lulabelle is just about at the age now where she actually follows along with the stories we read her, rather than just accepting the flood of words as a weird thing that mom and dad sometimes do.  She does better when we read stories to her that have pictures, naturally, but she's still engaged by whatever she hears.

This new phase of her life is exciting to us the same way every new phase is a marvel.  It's compounded by Sonja's newfound love of books, which she enjoys flipping through while we read something else.

Predictably, the pettiest and most narcissistic parts of me are flipping their shit because, hey, this means it won't be long before they'll read my books, and my ego clearly needs the boost, right?

I'm doing my best to temper that streak by reminding myself of three very important facts.  One: I need to actually finish writing something kid-friendly first.  Two: They need to grow just a little bit older to understand why the thing I'm reading special.  And most importantly, Three: They're probably just going to think I'm a big dork, anyway.

I mean, honestly, there's very little that my parents have done that I can honestly look at and go, "Wow, you guys are so cool!"  It's not that I'm ashamed of or embarrassed by my mom and dad.  It's just that the things they do are so... normal.  If my parents could or did do it, then why should I be impressed?  They're just my parents.  Jeez.

(Said notwithstanding the impressive feat of raising me and three other kids, which is mind-boggling to me as a parent of only two.)

Despite my best efforts, those self-corrective warnings aren't doing much to quell my excitement about either finishing the first draft of "There's Something Strange About Mr. Brickwell" or undertaking a rewrite of "A Tale of 100 Stories."  The latter is a project that I had, until now, put in my Million Dollar Idea Closet.  The MDIC is another exercise in vanity - basically it's the place I shove all my ideas that are just too good to waste on <sneer> self-publishing </sneer>.  "Why should I resign such a bankable, stellar idea into the humiliating pits of The Internet when I could clearly work with a publishing house to turn it into a massively successful franchise, a la Harry Potter?"

The answer, of course, is that it's a fun story and I should be doing anything I can to share it with the world instead of getting so far up my own ass with inane fantasies of success that I end up stalling out my own efforts.  But that's probably a rant for another day.

The point is, I have at least two novels in the works at this point that are intended for kids in contrast to my usual R-rated stuff.  In the past I always just thought of them as a nebulous part of a whole - just a fun and/or potentially profitable experiment to play with, to keep my writing varied and interesting.  Now they suddenly feel practical and wholly more terrifying to let loose on the world.

I sure hope Lulabelle's a soft critic.  She might end up throwing off my entire publication schedule.