This week, I’m living it up with my toddlers as the stay-at-home parent and that means frequent trips to the parks and libraries. And guess what happened? During the most random meandering down an aisle while chasing around my two year old, I found my series idea, fully fleshed out and published in its entirety from the 1980s.
Apparently, Ben M. Baglio and Shelagh McNicholas rocked this idea to the max. I caught my breath at the proximity of my chosen titles… Dolphins in the Driftwood. Cats in the Cathedral. You see my quandary? Damn.
But it got me to thinking about the beautiful simplicity of this little series, which still gets 5 star reviews, 30 years later.
In truth, our ideas are totally different. This series appears firmly rooted in “real life.” Mine verges on fantasy. I don’t see any cathedrals or shipwrecks in these titles.
This did help me appreciate, however, that my overriding purpose and concept behind the series is not well-honed. My audience of one, as I joke–my 9-year-old, who has been hearing my stories aloud and loves them all–does not care much about whatever “point” the book may be trying to make. But do I have one? How can I not?
What’s the point of it all, anyway?
(insert existential crisis here)
I resolve to NOT plagiarize the 80’s awesomeness of the Animal Ark series (Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins forever!); and I also resolve to get more clarity in my brain about why I’m writing this series, so that it has a cohesive purpose, even if my 9-year-old couldn’t care less and just wants to read about dolphins.