Sometimes, life is just too adultish. Mortgage payments, dinner parties, grocery shopping, careers, taxes (yikes!), saving for college. Oh it just zaps the kid right out of a person! Thank goodness for the little whirlwinds in my life that help bring me back to the wonderful world of tomfoolery and bodily sounds and the smells that go with them!!
During the month of January, I have been feeling especially adultish 😦 and this required a very seriously unserious intervention by the best team of silliness masters and imagination gurus south of the Sears Tower (yes, Sears!). I needed help brainstorming.
Recently, I participated in my first live webinar, Unlocking the Mysteries of Chapter Book and Middle Grade Series Writing led by Eve Adler editor for Grosset and Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Random House. This was made available through KidLit College. (Be sure to bookmark this one!) One of the nuggets I took away from this was though you only submit one story at a time, you should have 2 or 3 more in the series waiting in the wings, of at least your imagination. Not entirely new information, but one I had been avoiding. Because I have been stuck, right here in that spot! I did feel a sense of relief when she said two or three more ideas on your own should be enough. After that, agents, editors, fans, etc will help supply story lines.
The chapter book I have written lends itself to series. But the problem was, I couldn’t think of one single bit of mischief my adorable and highly curious MC with a powerful imagination could get into.
I’m still writing a MG story in verse, that leans toward the serious side and my brain was stuck in neutral there. Yet, I want to have a vision for the next writing project so I have something new to work on when revisions start for my current project. I also want to be ready should an agent or editor say, “This is delightful. Have you thought about series? What ideas do you have for the next two or three stories?” (oh, it’s a decadent dream to have until the harsh reality of the vacant inbox hits). What was it Oprah once said? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Well, I don’t want to be caught unprepared, so I staged my own intervention during dinner!
Incredible happenings spewed forth! Complete with up-out-of-their-seats demonstrations. One idea spun off into other ideas, unfathomable mayhem, and a delightful (ahem) scene with a toilet.
At least three ideas came out of it plus illustrations created by my two lead silliness experts. But, really, the best part of the whole thing was the imprint it made on my little whirlwinds, calling it one of the best nights they’ve had in a long time.
Don’t have little whirlwinds of your own? Borrow some! Babysit your niece, nephew, or for your good buddy. This is an everyone wins situation!
Enjoy shedding the adult grime. It accumulates pretty quickly without regular doses of fun. Happy writing!