Saturday, May 13, 2006

New blog: The Memory Tree

A colleague and I are trying our hands at writing Children's Stories. We've setup a blog for this purpose - The Memory Tree (

The story writing is part hobby and part intellectual exercise. We've got no experience writing Children's Stories, but we gotta start somewhere and so there's no better time than "now", right? Well, I have two stories published (as mentioned at sometime back, thanks to Olkgal) but that hardly qualifies me as an expert. On the contrary, I realise there's much more to improve.

My knowledge of what makes a good Children's Story is limited to my storytelling experience many years ago. When I started out as a librarian, I did storytelling for about three years. Some stories are constant favourite for kids, even older ones who've heard it more than once. Colleagues from Children's Services have also given me some references on writing children's stories, which I'll post in the blog as well (hence, the blog serves as an archive of references and resources).

We can't tell if the stories will be published. I'm sure every writer hopes to have their works published but for now, Saigon Tai-tai (my colleague) and I are aiming to get a story out. Then we'll see how it goes.

I have a secondary purpose in starting a story blog. I'm interested in how blogs are used as part of the writing process. But knowing it's been done is different actual experience, so I thought why not just do it.

My main concern in the book blog idea was the plagarism of story ideas published in draft. I emailed Shel some questions (he's the only author I know personally, who's based his book on a blog) and he shared that an Intellectual Property notice might help. I've put that in the story blog but in truth, that didn't really provide much assurance.

Still I went ahead and posted my drafts anyway and after a while, I realised the risk wasn't as bad as I thought. For one, absolutely no one reads the blog! Perhaps this might change by a fraction after this post but still I'm not worried. I don't think the risk of plagarism increases proportionately to readership. In fact, I've realised that the risk (real or perceived) actually decreases as I know that more people are aware of the story blog. Simply put, it's like the more "witnesses" there are to the progress of the story, the greater the assurance of proof of originality -- something like that.

OK, you're thinking that timestamps on blog posts can be changed, right? But there's RSS feeds to back it up, and worse case maybe the logfiles from the blog hosting service could be proof.

Anyway, it's all speculation at this point whether the story we post on the story blog would be copied or modified. There's always a risk but I am beginning to sense that the benefits outweights the risks. Or to put in another way, the benefits are real while the risks might not be realised. I might blog about what these benefits are in another post.

Here's a thought -- librarians who are authors aren't new, and neither is the idea of blogs used to write books. But librarians using blogs to write stories, now maybe that's a first. You think? : )

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  1. Good luck with your story blog.

    There! Someone is reading your blog - me :-)

  2. Anonymous8:03 pm

    It was rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks the author for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

    Julia Swenson


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