Happy Mother’s Day – Adventures in Parenting, Story Ideas, and Fashion Pants!


Toddler Catherine, decked out in pink

My first kiddo ... all decked out in pink. Maybe that's where it started?

Happy Mother’s Day, all you mom’s out there! This post originally appeared about seven years ago on THE MOMMY BLOG, but I thought it was appropriate for the occasion (with minor tweaks), especially as reading back over it makes me realize how much has happened since I first became a mom (the fact that I now have two kids springs to mind!). Enjoy…and have a great day!

I write books. Lots of books. And I’ve never been short of ideas. It’s the where of the ideas that’s the big question, and one I’m always afraid to examine too closely, lest I see the man behind the curtain and the fantasy comes to a screeching halt. When people ask me (and I get asked a lot!) I usually tell them I get my ideas at Wal-Mart. Cheaper than Nordstrom’s, anyway. And there’s a little bit of everything to choose from.

And I have written all over the board: Superheroes descended from Greek and Roman gods (that whole mythology thing was just a cover story, don’t you know?), a cat determined to marry her master (here’s an update: this one’s being re-released next week! The Cat’s Fancy!), a kick-butt female super-spy mixed up in a James Bondish plot, a Nick & Nora-like couple out to solve a mystery. A woman sucked into a real life version of a computer game, with high stakes consequences: play the game… or die (THE GIVENCHY CODE). And, of course, a Demon Hunting Soccer Mom.

But ask me where I got an idea, and I really couldn’t say. I can give you a vague answer. In some cases, I can talk about how I was brainstorming with friends, and somehow the book finally appeared. But I can’t really pinpoint that actual spark. Honestly, I’m not sure I want to, again for fear that if I look too closely, the spark will fizzle.

Lately, though… Lately I’ve discovered a wealth of book ideas living right here in my house. My daughter, C, all of age three, and brimming over with such imagination that it puts me in awe, and makes me think that coming up with story ideas for twenty some-odd books was really no big thing at all. I mean, if the kid could type, I think she could fill the Library of Congress! (And, yes, I realize that all kids of fabulous imaginations, but she’s my first, so I think I’m entitled to brag and be in awe of the great creative genius that is my child!)

Some of the ideas are so great, there’s gotta be a book in there somewhere. Take chick lit, for example. So many chick lit books have a component in fashion. My daughter, has, apparently, been reading the books on my shelf, because suddenly she won’t wear anything if it’s not “fashion.” (Now, I dress in Old Navy and old t-shirts most of the time—trust me, it looks better than it sounds. So I assure you she’s not getting this from me!). Every morning is a huge ordeal finding clothes to wear to day care because they must be “fashion shirts” and “fashion pants.” Unfortunately (for me, anyway), C’s concept of fashion means that it’s pink. ALL pink. Not pink with white flowers or tiny blue lines or a hint of green stitching. PINK. Needless to say, I do a lot of loads of pink laundry.

But that’s gotta be a book, right? Can’t you just see it? FASHION PANTS, by Julie Kenner. A heartwarming and humorous story about a young woman who has this pair of pink pants and she shares them with her friends, and they’re sort of magic because they fit everyone. And the friends travel around and … oh, wait. That’s been done. Hmmm.

Okay, well, how about this: Angry Superheroes. Yes, you heard right. Why does my daughter like to be an angry superhero? I have absolutely no idea. But she makes the squinty face, and clenches the fists, and goes into the stance, and it’s all my husband and I can do not to totally crack up. (My parents just left, and I think I spent half the visit trying to convince C to “do the angry superhero face for grandma and grandpa!” She never did. Creative, maybe, but not an actress.)

We were at Sea World last week, and during the 8 minute breaks between wave sessions, we played Angry Superheroes Rescue The Good Guys about, oh, five million times. They may be angry, but these superheroes are definitely out to save the world.

That, folks, could be a book. And one day, it just may be…

What are your plans for mom’s day? I’ll be heading out to visit my mom…and bringing flowers. And I’m pretty sure that a “surprise” brunch is in store for me. Can’t wait!

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