This evening I was charged with cleaning the living and dining rooms after everyone went to bed. There was nothing on television, but my friend Kenneth Mark Hoover had been live tweeting PBS's broadcasting the Wagner's The Ring Cycle. I was very excited about this and turned it on to play in the background while I cleaned. Now Ken did a nice job of tweeting some of the basics for noobs like me to understand but a funny thing happened while I was watching. My daughter Natalie, who I thought was asleep, came down stairs.
Now, Nat is a precocious child and stared at the screen, watching intently for a few minutes before she strung together about a half dozen really good questions about what I was watching. I answered as best as I could, using my old friend Wikipedia, Ken's answers and what I'd cobbled together watching. Nat then took it and ran with it, doing a pretty good job of cobbling a story together with the help of my occasional commentary of what was happening in the opera. And I have to be honest, I kind of like her version better.
I have to say this, my daughter has some pretty good story telling chops. Listening to her play, she's meticulous when it comes to the story, consistent in her characterization and comes up with some pretty interesting stuff...enough to make me put aside what I'm doing to listen to her because it's pretty clever. Now, she needs some work on her magic systems (she uses some combination of incantations that may or may not require rhyming and the use of some kind of a focus, be it a staff or a wand....I don't want to stifle....she'll figure it out!) and her male characters need some work, but she's definitely cut from the same stalk as he father in that area.
Now, I know what you're thinking...I'm her dad, I have to think this. And I do, but there's more there.
I was sharing what my daughter was saying with Ken via Twitter and I think he was just as impressed at her story as I was. There might be a darn fine YA fantasy in this, if I can manage the story Natalie's dictated to me.
The only question is: does she get a co-authoring credit or not?