Childish

I’ve been thinking about writing a lot, ever since Mrs. Portmandia started writing her novel. I’d like to write more, but mostly I procrastinate my writing time away. As a result, more daunting projects never really get started (though I do have a few notes for a post-apocalyptic hipster novel). I’ve been trying to blog as much as possible, figuring that writing is writing, and that any time that I spend writing will help me build skill and be better. Last week it occurred to me that I might want to write for kids.

My son is a little man and he has a healthy love of books. It’ll be a few years before he can read them on his own, but he loves to be read to. Every night we read a couple books before bedtime. Over the holidays, we were able to wheedle an iPad for his use and it’s rapidly become one of his favorite things. More recently I’ve been experimenting with books  on the iPad and he seems to love them. So all of these things have got me thinking: I should write some picture books for my son and see if they’re any good.

Well, there is a bit of a problem with this plan: I can’t draw. I’m pretty miserable at it. On top of that, I really don’t have any close artistic friends to collaborate with. I have some friends who are amazing artists, but they’re a ways away or otherwise in distant orbits. So that’s the first big hurdle. I have to figure out a way to illustrate my stories. That’s a big stumbling block in the whole plan to write picture books.

Okay, assuming that I manage to find someone or some way to brilliantly illustrate by stories, what would I write about? What kind of stories would I want to tell? Adventure and imagination stories. I want to write about kids that imagine that they are robots and pirates and cavemen and all kinds of goofy things like that. Just the other day, Portmandia Jr. was telling his mother and I about his daycare field trip to the airport, where they where going to fly to the jungle and see the animals. I want to write stories like that.

I might just start writing little stories without having an illustrator. It could be a great writing exercise. If I enjoy doing it and they turn out okay, then I’ll have more incentive to actually figure out how to get over the other hurdles. There is always the possibility that I’ll hate writing kids stories or that I’ll write stories that kids hate. It’d be silly to pour a lot of energy into the project if it turns out that I don’t even like it.

So there’s some reasonable thinking about the matter. I’ll try writing some little stories (maybe a thousand words or so) and see how it goes. If they start to sound good, then I’ll try and find someone to illustrate for me. If that works well, then I can start to think about maybe doing a little self-publishing. I think there are a lot of opportunities out there for kid’s ebooks. Might be fun to explore those possibilities.

4 thoughts on “Childish”

  1. Maybe you could use photographs… You know set up images…. Go to the airport take a picture with your phone… All kinds of good ways to manulapate images on line. I remember when you fixed up a red dragon for me – pixel by pixel.
    You could even make an audio book. You have a great voice for that too.
    Maybe an adventure book where the kid gets to pick the way. Easier to do that now with the internet and all.

    1. I’ve thought about photography, but I’d want models and props and such that I just don’t have. I have pretty decent design skills, so I’m not afraid of layout, but the actual illustration seems daunting.

      I’ve also been thinking about choose-your-own-adventure stories. Ebook formats can support that kind of internal linking pretty easily so that might be fun too. I’ll just have to start experimenting.

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