Sold a short story to AlienSkin Magazine this week! Yay! It will be appearing in their June/July 2006 issue. I love them! I particularly love seeing how they illustrate the stories they publish. My neices and nephew favorite was their cartoon for my "Faster-than-Light Man" story. They always wanted me to write more of his adventures. The fact that I killed him off never seemed to matter to them, they still wanted more stories. Too funny.
I was visiting with them this past weekend, and my sister made the mistake of mentioning that I used to do these "traps" for her. Really, it was just a choose-your-own-adventure type maze that I would draw out on paper first, then lead her through it verbally. She (and sometimes her friend too) would lie down and listen while I spun them a tale and gave them choices... It was much fun, and challenging for me, to describe as accurately and interestingly as possible the environment they had to traverse. Well, she mentioned that, and my youngest neice pounced. So, I had to make up one on the spot for her. I took her through a dank smelly cave, and she ran into a pink and cream feathered dragon-bird thingy and got eaten. And she loved it, loved being told a story she could visualize in her mind and make decisions on whether to climb the boulder or cross the cave or whatever, and, of course, I couldn't help it and got really swept up in the telling (I've been listening to too many Dana Andrews radio shows... I'm turning into dramatic unreliable narrator girl). She bugged me incessantly the rest of the weekend for another one, then my nephew found out about it, and he wanted one too, but I got out of doing another one. But I guarantee the next time I'm visiting, I'll be pulled into making up a wild story for them.
So, anyone who says the oral tradition is dead... lies. All kids need is someone to start telling them exciting adventure stories that involve them, and they're hooked.