Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
The Absolutely True Story
Through the wonders of the Internet and laptop computers, I am at the Indianapolis Airport, waiting to board my flight home after a wonderful trip to Cape Cod and Boston (an early 50th birthday gift from my good friend Gary). It's my day to post a blog entry, and I thought it would be fitting to describe the seed of inspiration for my young adult novel, ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT, especially since it involves my friend Gary, who is pictured sitting here next to me at the airport.
Almost ten years ago Gary and I were walking around one of the lakes in St. Paul when we happened to pass a prom couple having their picture taken by their parents. Gary turned to me and said, "I hate prom!" When I asked him why he still had such a strong reaction against prom so many years after the fact, he recounted being pressured to attend prom twice, with girls. Gary happens to be gay like I am, and having to attend prom with someone whom you're not romantically interested in was not much fun.
As we continued walking around the lake, I thought about Gary's predicament. How could a teenage boy, who was not ready to admit he was gay, avoid having to take a girl to the prom? The answer suddenly seemed crystal clear: he could take a dog instead. While that might sound implausible, two seniors at my high school took mannequins to the prom, so why couldn't someone take a dog.
Excited about this idea, I went home and began writing a short story called "Taking Alice to the Prom." To make a long story short, (or more accurately, to make a short story long), that story, which was published in Cicada magazine, became the basis for my novel ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT.
Thank you, Gary, for hating prom.