I spent most of my weekend at the wonderful California Dreamin’ conference, having a great time with my fellow writers and readers, and I confess, I didn’t start even thinking about this post until last night. My third-grader daughter was helping me make dinner, and I asked her if she had any ideas. She offered to help me write it.
So here goes…
(If you hadn’t noticed, I always call my kids “the darelings” online.)
Me: See, I need to write a scene that takes place in a ballroom.
Dareling: (thinks on it) How about a young man and a young woman meet, and they dance.
Me: That’s a good start.
Dareling: And then after they dance, they discover that they’ve been next-door neighbors all their lives and never knew it!
Me: Well….If they’ve been next-door neighbors all their lives, how did they not know each other?
Dareling: Maybe they lived in the country, a whole mile apart.
Me: And they still never met their nearest neighbor?
Dareling: They were homeschooled.
Me: Oh. Okay. I guess most people were then. So we have the homeschooled young lady and gentleman, and they’ve danced and met, and now what?
Dareling: Now that they know each other, they find a tree that’s halfway between their two houses, and they meet there every day.
Me: I like this! This sounds…really good. Like, maybe better than my own current plot. And what do they do at the tree? Kiss?
Dareling: No. They read books.
Me: Reading books is good, too. Very romantic.
Dareling: And they talk about the books.
Me: And then they kiss?
Me: Okay, okay. No kissing. So what happens next?
Dareling: The girl finds out that she’s moving.
Me: (gasp) Oh, no.
Dareling: Yes. To EUROPE.
Me: (shaking head) Moving to the Continent. That’s sad. They’re going to miss each other.
Dareling: Yes. But then the boy finds out that he’s moving to Europe too!
Me: Well, that’s… convenient.
(I’m wondering if it’s worth explaining the idea of deus ex machina, but she seems eager to wrap this up.)
Dareling: And now they’re next-door neighbors again, except really next door this time. And there’s another ball, and they go to it and dance again.
Me: And then do they kiss?
Dareling: Yes, Mom. They kiss. But they don’t get married.
Me: Why not?
Dareling: Because they’re not ready.
Me: I know this ending is not standard for romance novels, but as your mother, I approve.
Dareling: THE END.
So there you go. If next year, you see THE DESIRES OF A HOMESCHOOLED DUKE on the shelves, you know whom to blame.
Just so my younger dareling doesn’t feel left out, here’s a story about him I shared on Facebook last week:
Yesterday, I was having a discussion with my eldest about countries of the world and their capitals. My youngest said, “I know all the capitals of the world!” I was skeptical, because he’s just in 1st grade – but hey, maybe he’s a prodigy? So I asked him, “What’s the capital of Turkey?” And he said, just bursting with pride: “T!”
Yep. He knows ALL the capitals. All 26 of them. My little prodigy.
We all know kids say the darnedest things. Do you have a story of your own kids or young family members offering pearls of wisdom? Do share!