Okay, the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. I consider most social networking to be a huge time-suck. One that I enjoy, but a time-suck none the less. Sometimes good things can come of it. Like story ideas. Even if that wasn't the topic on hand. Long story coming up. I hope you have time.
When I was in college in the fine arts program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha we were talking about where we wanted our writing careers to go. What direction did we want to take. Most of the people in the class were literary writers or poets. They had aspirations of being published in the finest literary magazines in the land or landing a sweet teaching position at a prestigious university. One girl in my class was working on her musical career and by most standards she has done quite nicely with that having a couple of top 40 hits. She can also boast that she is huge in Japan.
I told the class I would like to write for children. The teacher looked at me like I had the plague or something worse. "Why is that?" she asked.
"Because I really enjoy the current books that are out for children right now," I said. (This was the mid-90's and the current crop of children's books included The Stinky Cheese Man as well as I Lost My Bear.) They were witty books and I truly did enjoy reading them. For the rest of my time in her class whenever I turned a story in (about every other week) she would ask me in front of the class if it was written for children. I always told her no. my class was not full of children and I was writing for them. Secretly I think she thought I was wasting my time.
Flash forward fifteen years. I still would like to write for children, despite my short stories. I am subbing a middle grade literary adventure book and I have gotten some encouraging responses so far. I was talking with Chris Fletcher (of M-Brane SF) about dreams and remembered something from a nightmare I had when I was a child. I believe I was five at the time. It was about a witch with a patchwork cape. It scared me half to death. I had the dream several more times throughout my childhood and even as an adult once or twice. K.C. mentioned it would make an excellent story (part of an ABC book I believe she said) and it was seconded by a couple of other folks. I thought about it most of the weekend.
Darn you social networking sites. Don't you know I am working on a YA book right now and can't be bothered.