In keeping with the need for the kids to take at least 6000 documented steps each day, the boy would often accompany his grandmother for a short stroll down the beach. On a few occasions, his father joined him. One night the boy and I took a trek and shared a nice conversation which covered a large swath of topics, but mostly centered on the “book” the boy is writing in his head.
“So my book centers around this guy, who is one of many special people; sent out into the world to discover a cure for a lethal disease which is killing his tribe of people within their territory” He began. “Oh so this is taking place in a dystopian world?” I asked. “No. I hate dystopian worlds.” He replied. “Well they are quite popular right now…do you wonder why that is?” I asked. “Momma, they are only popular because readers lack imagination”. He explained. “You see, I would think the dystopian popularity stems from where we are today-as a society. I mean the world is pretty messed up right now. Nations are battling one another over ancient boundaries-once thought settled; different aspects on the same faith-Sunni vs. Shite or Catholic versus the Protestants in Northern Ireland. Our future world vision is unsettling.” I said. “Well I never said my book takes place on planet earth…” He added and pushed me off my soap box and back to HIS book.
“In any case, so…” He started but I interrupted again, “Wait, so your main dude-does he and the other searchers-do they have special abilities?” The boy has never attempted to write anything without his characters having special abilities of soe sort. I was iterested to see if he had moved beyond the cartoon superhero format yet. “Yes…he can heal others and he’s a great swordsman”. He replied. “A great swordsman?” I asked wondering how that equated into a special ability.”Momma, you do know I like blades. I think they are a purer form of fighting because it takes skill to fight with a sword-not just shoot people at will. My novel will not have guns and amunition technology. In fact in my prologue I’m going to explain that munitions were outlawed-so everyone is on the same playing field technologically speaking”.
“Interesting” I thought as we walked along.
Over the course of the next hour, the boy and I walked in the surf and discussed the many characters he has in mind for his book-but not much of the story details; which he allowed was languishing around in his head”. Then the conversation turned as I asked “What are you going to do if your friend A has a different lunch period this year?” “Uh I’ll probably spend the twenty minutes writing my book instead of talking to someone.” He reasoned. “But wouldn’t you do better finding familiar people and sitting with them?” I asked. “Perhaps. It’s all so existential right now Momma”. He replied. ‘How so?” “Because you expect me to find the answer to problems which have yet to establish.” “No, I want you to have a contigency plan in place so you’re not circling the lunchroom looking for a place to sit”. I explained. He grabbed my shoulder, pulling me into his large frame and said, “You worry too much”. Breaking free from his stronghold I replied, “I’m your mom–that’s my job”.
All told we took 5500 wonderful and interesting steps forward- together.