Saturday, October 30, 2004

Write On

Lori's often talked about her desire to stay home with Rachel, and she's talked about writing children's books as a way to do it. I've asked her if she's given it much thought, but she says she hasn't had the time. Today I was reading in Reader's Digest about a guy who gave up a life as a computer programmer to become a teacher, but to make ends meet on the salary cut, had also enlisted in the reserves. The story was about him being called to duty in Iraq. I didn't get too far into the article, but he had also written a couple of children's books and the name of one of the characters made me think about a stuff animal Rachel had. The animal had a name on the tag, but we didn't like the name, so we came up with a new name for the animal. I asked Lori if she thought that would be a good name for a children's book character and it just seemed so obviously. A search on Amazon yielded only one book with that character name in the title, published in 1978 and now out of print. Further searching, however, led us to Wikipedia where we learned that there was a Muppet character on Sesame Street in the 90's with that name. Out of respect/fear for The Jim Henson Company and Disney, we sadly abandoned the name, even though the name might be retired. But, by changing a few letters, we had a new, just as good name that Wikipedia and Google could find now such existing character name for. In the clear!

Very quickly, the ideas began flowing and we had the premise for 5 or 6 books and a different discovery idea for each... one would be a pop-up book, one would be about colors, another about textures, another about letters, another for numbers, you name it. One more idea too cool to even reveal here yet. Nothing really new in those concepts, but they are repeatable concepts appearing over and over in books. We also came up with two additional little story devices that we haven't come across in children's books that we think will excite a publisher.

Our next steps are to contact Lori's brother about creating some sample art for us, fleshing out the storylines, and finding a publisher. Hopefully our labor of love will pay off and provide entertainment and education for other families and allow us to spend more time as a family ourselves...

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