Ideas, that is. I’m not above stealing their ideas. Well, occasionally, I steal a pack of fruit snacks as well. But that’s about it.
So I have this series of flash fiction stories about an anthropomorphic pair of roommates called Thom & Tom. Thom is a squirrel. Tom is invisible. And they have ordinary little adventures that might appeal to a cerebral twenty-something crowd.
I’ve got about sixty of these stories awaiting publication (or an artist who can help bring them to life), but I’m always on the lookout for more. On at least one occasion, I’ve reused a story idea and wrote a story with the same problem but with different outcomes (because I forget a ton about my writing).
The other day, I had my writing notebook out and I was trying to come up with some ideas for new Thom & Tom stories. My oldest daughter asked what I was doing and I decided to exploit her little imaginative brain for my own ends. I told her a little about my characters and asked what sort of story I should write.
Together, we came up with ideas for at least 16 new Thom & Tom stories! True, only a few of the ideas are ones that my daughter told me word for word, but the brainstorming process of doing it together spawned some ideas that I wouldn’t have thought up without her.
Here are a few of the new stories that will need hashed out:
- Thom can’t stop dancing
- Tom loses his sense of humor
- Thom is hypnotized into thinking he is a tiger.
- Tom gets a pet (possibly a homeless person who does a good pet imitation).
- Thom and Tom babysit some kid.
- Thom has to call the plumber for some reason.
Okay, these are some very rough ideas, but they’ll all turn into something I’m sure. And if they do, I’ll make sure that my daughters get a dynamite dedication (just after my lovely wife) at the beginning of my book.
What do you steal from your kids?