Because I’m a masochist, that’s why.

I think I should probably reveal my big surprise for this week’s story.  I’m sure most of my friends are getting sick of receiving nonsensical text messages from me hinting at strange things to come.  So here it is.  This week I have written a children’s book.

No.  Wait.  Scratch that.  That isn’t quite right.  I have no idea if I’ve written a children’s book.  I have no idea if kids will want to read this thing, if it’ll terrify them or bore them or what.  I have no idea if I’m qualified to write a kid’s book.  There are times when it makes sense to me and times when it seems very very wrong.  What I can say I’ve done for certain is I’ve written this week’s short story in poem format with a playful rhyme scheme and provided illustrations to go along with it.  Or that’s my plan, at any rate.  I’m still a few stanzas short but I think I’ll have something cobbled together by Thursday.   And I’m drawing the illustrations using the crappy Paint program that came with my computer because I find it funny to use something so low grade.  And my drawing skills are horrible.  And I have to use my right hand even though I’m lefty because nothing in this world is made for left handed people including computer mice (there is no way that’s the correct way to pluralize that).

It’s the story of a little girl, Mindy, and her best friend, the imaginary Barkley.  Only, like I said, I’m doing the drawings, so at times it looks more like the story of a little amorphous blob and her best friend, the hippopotamus with Down Syndrome.

See?  That certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of joke that a guy who writes kid’s books should be making.  Come to think of it, there actually is an amorphous blob in there at one point.  Right.

So maybe it’s a kid’s book, maybe it’s not.  Who knows.  All I know is, this is the idea I had, so this is the idea I’m trying to deliver.

All of my wishy-washiness aside, though, this is clearly modeled on a lot of the children’s books I enjoyed while growing up.  Generally speaking I don’t like to put cut and dry lessons or characters into what I write.  I enjoy existing in a bit more of a gray area.  While writing this thing, though, I found it difficult to do that.  You don’t see a lot of gray areas in kid’s books.  Not in the kid’s books I interacted with.  Like that talking elephant.  Man, that guy just would not stop sitting on his egg.  So I wound up being a bit more obvious with my story than I like to be.  I wouldn’t read to much into it.  Basically I just wanted to try and make your children feel more free to express themselves.  Unless they already express themselves a lot, in which case I wanted to teach them an important lesson about listening.  Or something.  Really, so long as I exert more control over your children than you do I’ll be happy.  Assuming you’re crazy enough to read this thing to a child.

I’m going to go now.