Like all good ideas, I came up with the idea for Formation Books when I couldn't fall asleep one night. My kids and I had spent the week in Orlando visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and our beloved Walt Disney World. The trip had come about hastily. I had hired a babysitter for the summer who needed a particular week off so she could go to Country U.S.A. and, like most great inventions, the trip came out of necessity given I didn't have the faintest clue who would watch my kids for the week. Nonetheless, the trip was a great opportunity to make good on my promise that when they had finished all 7 Harry Potter books, we would visit the great Hogwarts itself (more on the significance of Harry Potter in our lives another time!).
It was the end of the trip on the last day and I was sharing a bed with my oldest daughter. We had to get up the next day at 4:45 AM to get the airport, return the rental car and make our flight so I had that night-before-the-airport anxiety. I was tired from a long week of theme parking and from the humid heat but grateful that we had spent the week together while I marveled at how grown up they had become. The trip had been alot of fun. I had been able to mostly disconnect from work due to the lack of working internet in our VRBO.
I was not-sleeping-trying-to-sleep when slowly but surely the idea for She's a Technology Sales Executive and She's My Mom suddenly popped into my head. It started, I think, because I was thinking of going home. I started thinking of my friends that I admire and the always plucky Ashley Powell popped into my head. I thought about how she's seemingly every where all of the time and always seems to be having a blast. I thought of her children whom I had never met but assumed they were vivacious and full of life like her mom (and her Dad who I had met!). It all started a bit like a love letter to her - celebrating all of her accomplishments and drive. So that night, I told myself not to forget all of the fabulous ideas I had had and gently fell asleep (<== or rather, I got out of bed and took an Ambien because there was no way I was going down that night given this new project idea!).
Luckily on the plane ride to Orlando the week before, Ingrid had negotiated the window seat so it was her turn to sit in the middle between me and her sister. I asked her for the blank notebook that I had packed in her backpack and she obliged without any questions. I furiously started jotting down page ideas and sketching out Ashley in all of her adventures. It wasn't too long before Ingrid was VERY interested in what I was doing and started coming up with her own ideas of what I should be writing about but more importantly had the kookiest joke ideas. And its on that plane back home, Ingrid and I discovered that together we actually had some pretty good ideas and I was happy that we had something productive we could do together as she navigates that time in her life when she feels too old for toys and too young for teenager stuff. And so it began...