Custom Bedtime Stories

Getting out of my writing rut

So, my son, Alex, is roughly 1 month away from turning 3 years old. I decided that I wanted to do something for him to stimulate his mind beyond teaching him basic arithmetic, or letting him press keyboard buttons in LibreOffice Writer and say the letter out loud, or singing nursery songs together.

I wanted something where I stretch his creative side, as well, and give him positive reinforcement a bit beyond his current capabilities (like hitting keys on the keyboard lets him “write” letters before his fine motor skills let him do anything more complex than circles and squares on a piece of paper).

Also, I’ve been wanting to spend a bit more of my (little) free time writing. Today I realized that I could be like a bipolar junction transistor and amplify his creative current (his imagination) and do a little bit of writing, too. :)

Enter “Custom Bedtime Stories”

I came up with a general plan, though I presume I’ll refine it over the course of this experiment.

Each monday of each week for the next year, I will ask Alex a few questions about a possible story. Right now, they are:

To choose the protagonist, antagonist, conflict, and setting, respectively. The stories will follow the standard setup, rising action, climax, conclusion pattern of storytelling, and I will pick the moral the story is meant to convey.

The story is due by Saturday evening, giving myself a roll-over buffer to Sunday if this proves harder than expected.

I expect the early stories will be short to match a 2 year old’s attention span, but I hope that quickly he’ll want longer stories since they’re our stories and he’s more invested in them.

My hope is that with time he becomes interested in directing the plot himself, and eventually writing them for me. :)

The First Attempt

Because this is my first attempt to do this with Alex, I helped out a bit by providing example answers to each question until he confirmed one he liked. Even after he confirmed, I listed a few more to see if he would change his mind (he chose several locales in a row, took a while to decide which one he actually wanted). The final choices are:

I will, of course, post the resulting stories here, too, but I won’t have an introductory post like this for the rest. Just expect them weekly around Saturday (I intend to just read my website from my tablet with him; maybe I’ll add pictures, too, if I have lots of free time one week).

What about the Tech Posts?

So, because this is a tech blog, primarily, and I don’t want that to change, I’m also planning on writing a tech-oriented post weekly, as well. These posts will be shorter than they have been, historically. A few paragraphs about some library or concept I find interesting or useful, rather than the essay-style posts of before. I’m hoping the alternation between post styles will make it easier for me to open up vim and write.