For the last few Octobers, I have been writing on a couple of Hallowe'en stories. Both involve various traditions of the Season. Both include a bit of dark humour along with a bite of dark horror. And both have children as the main characters.
I suppose each tale might appeal, in its own way, to younger readers--though one more appropriately than the other--but, always considering my work "philosophical and conceptual," I still find it bewildering to think of myself composing stories for children to read.
It may be my continuing studies of elementary education and informational literacy these last five years. Perhaps reflecting on ways to engage young students has served to influence my literary leanings. Indeed, the vast majority of my reading these recent years has focused on children's literature.
Nevertheless, I believe the greater inspiration has been having children of my own. The twins have transformed my life in more ways than I can comprehend. Stands to reason that they would influence my writing.
One of the stories--the one friendlier for young children--came straight from the twins during their first year. One of them had a goofy little "onesie," striped like a prison inmate's. He looked like a baby bandit! That little boy in that little suit gave me an idea about a trickster robber stealing pumpkins for Hallowe'en and being thwarted, of course, by a brave little girl--as inspired by my little daughter.
The other story--the more terrifying tale--is about a witch and a wizard tick-or-treating for All Hallows' Eve. While the skeleton of the story comes from a campfire tale that had been smouldering like an ember in my mind for I don't know how many years, its flesh and blood come right from all the adventures I have so far witnessed of my twins.
I shall finish both tales tomorrow evening.
I'll finish initial drafts, at least. I will revise and edit and finish final drafts next October.
What I wonder now is what inspiration awaits. How shall my children influence my writing as they grow older? Shall my characters mirror and echo my twins ages and maturities? Will I continue writing stories of children and for children? Or, for me, will writing children's tales pass away just as do everyone's earliest days?
Whatever happens in years to come, I sure am pleased to be finishing a couple of stories tomorrow.
'Twill be a Happy Hallowe'en!