My Inspiration For Sally and Billy in Babyland

I have always been a big fan of satire and absurd stories, such as Animal Farm, Alice in Wonderland, and Life of Brian.

Several years ago, I was brainstorming ideas for a story to write. I was attracted to the idea of a story about two kids who end up in a bizarre world. But I couldn’t get progress with the story because I had nothing to drive their journey. All my ideas were about two kids, probably siblings, arguing about how they got here and what are they supposed to do. I had ideas for wacky things to happen, and for wacky people for them to meet.

But I had no story.

As 2016 came to a close, and we elected the new president, I found myself deeply upset. At first I was despondent and didn’t know quite what to do. Then I got busy and became more involved with politics than I ever had been before.

I was motivated because I was worried about my daughter and how women, minorities, and migrants would fare under this new regime. As I tried to find projects to make the world better through politics, helping people directly, and using my talents, I tried to think of something that would use my talent for writing.

At some point I remembered this story I had tried to work on many years ago about two kids who find themselves in a bizarre world. Now I was able to connect the bizarre world I sought for the story with the bizarre world we were living in. And I was able to connect the two kids in the story with my own two children.

My worry for the children in the story parallels my worry for my own children in this world.

I don’t think this story I’ve written will change the world directly. But I do believe that sharing stories about the world in which we live is how we come to a deeper and agreed-upon understanding of the world. And maybe once were all in better agreement, we can do something about.