Not Your Father’s Bedtime Stories, 20 pages
Editing “The Last Shimmer” with Sage was such a fun and rewarding project. As her father, I am proud of her for many reasons, but especially because of the creativity, sensitivity, humor, and imagination that defines her as a person, and I feel fortunate to help instill.
When Sage was three, her mother and I separated. They were difficult times, but regardless of the challenges we faced, I used to tell Sage a bedtime story every night she stayed with me, usually once a week. “The Birthday Dress that Never Was,” “The Valentine’s Day Surprise,” and “Bob The Mystic Frog” are just some of the stories found on our blog that were inspired by real events, or at least events that Sage once imagined could be real.
While I was the original storyteller of our duo, Sage soon started to chime in with her own voice and perspective, turning these stories that I improvised at bedtime into choose-your-own adventures. We had such a blast taking turns making up these fantastic tales that we often spent Sunday mornings writing, revising, and editing them together. Not an easy task, as any writer knows, but especially when one on the team technically serves as parent and mentor to the other. Still, no matter how many arguments we’ve waged trying to find the perfect word or phrase, it’s been a creative and bonding experience for both of us. Sage was and always will be my first, and favorite, writing partner.
Hence, the 27 tales currently found at Not Your Father’s Bedtime Stories began in 2015, when Sage was six. Since then, Sage’s passion for storytelling has taken on a life of its own. Now twelve, she has written numerous stories consisting of hundreds of pages and thousands of words, many of which I have yet to read.
However, when Sage told me about “The Last Shimmer,” about a girl who must confront her shadow to save herself and her loved ones, I was particularly curious, and soon, impressed. I encouraged Sage to submit it to children’s publications.
The first, Stone Soup, gave “The Last Shimmer” an honorable mention in their December 2020 issue. The story was too long for magazines, it seemed, and too short to be traditionally published as a middle-grade novel, so we decided to publish it ourselves.
We hope you enjoy the tale.
Ryan Hyatt, May 4, 2021