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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 10:14 pm:   

So Orion had his 3rd birthday party last Friday (sheesh, hard to believe!). He made off with the usual 3-year-old haul of presents, and the things that he got that he liked the most (because these are what he is into right now) were all gifts related to BOB THE BUILDER and also BAMBI. And I suppose 6 months from now he'll be into something completely different.

So here's a challenge. What do YOU remember being into during your childhood? Toys, shows, whatever. Yeah, yeah, 3-years-old might be a bit too far back for most all of us, so let's stretch it through grade school.

So, just to get things rolling...

HOT WHEELS (duh)
MAJOR MATT MASON (and the playsets like the space habitat, and extra characters and all--)
UNDERDOG

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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 06:11 am:   

Three? That is a reach. I think I had a lot of plastic cowboys and Indians, all with bowed legs so you could put them on their plastic horses.

Later I remember pining for a Johnny Seven-O-Seven, a gun that broke down into seven separate weapons.

By the time I was in 4th or 5th grade I was really into WWI airplanes. I'd build the models, hang them by threads from my bedroom's ceiling, and then try to shoot them down with clay pellets fired through a pen tube. My mother hated to clean my room.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 09:35 am:   

Donkeys. At four-going-on-five years old I was really into riding donkeys on the sands beside the Mersey River just two blocks down from where we lived in Wallasey (across from Liverpool). I had discovered that by standing on a street corner and thinking of really sad things, I would start to cry, and then people would stop and give me money. As soon as I had sixpence, I could go and buy a ride on a donkey.

At nine, I had scads of cheap plastic toy soldiers. At twelve, plastic dinosaurs. At thirteen, I discovered girls.

Matt Hughes
http://www.archonate.com/
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 09:39 am:   

I cannot remember what I liked at 3, but I can tell you what my children did:

Thomas the Tank Engine
Trains--especially the Brio kind
Sesame Street
Dr. Seuss

Best,
Alice
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

Matt, you sly dog you! Crying for money. THAT's an idea. Hmmmm, I'm getting teary-eyed thinking about TALEBONES, and how not everyone in the world has seen a copy. Sniff, sniff.

No donkeys, but I did enjoy the occasional pony ride at the Northwest Montana State Fair. :-)

>>then try to shoot them down with clay pellets fired through a pen tube>>

Ooo...that reminds me. I remember these guns that shot little plastic disks. Might even have been a Star Trek-named product. My mom found those disks EVERYwhere inside the house, even years after we'd lost the guns themselves. But god, we had some great shoot-em-ups!
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 12:31 pm:   

Dump trucks.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 12:51 pm:   

Star Wars came out when I was in kindergarten, so that pretty much dominated my childhood toy closet in two year cycles. I had lots of plastic army dudes, plastic guns, plastic dinosaurs...you know, the sort of thing you'd expect a preacher to buy his son.
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Bob Urell
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

Tonka. Anything yellow with big tires and moving parts. Oh, and smokestacks, lots of 'em.
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   

Plus ca change, eh, Bob?

Barbies.

Later, model cars...built tons of them. Sometimes my brother and I blew them up with firecrackers.




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Clarkesworld
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   

I was three when my brother was born. I had a few trucks and a plastic dog. Both of my kids (2 and 5) have played with that dog.
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Honna Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 07:10 pm:   

I played with plastic animals--had mean ones and nice ones. I raced marbles--had mean ones and nice ones (the nice ones always won the race). I still have all those animals and marbles.
We had a chalkboard, so I played school with my older brother and sister.
I had clackers and bruised up my arms (still have those clackers! God, I don't throw anything away)
My earliest kid memory is being shy about getting dressed in front of Bozo on TV.

Honna
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 10:56 pm:   

>>Star Wars came out when I was in kindergarten>>

Omigod! I teach high school kids and of course a lot of them are hyped about the next Star Wars, and I have to cringe a little bit when I tell them I saw the first Star Wars in the theater the summer after I graduated from high school...28 years ago!

Yeah, the classic TOY STORY green army men. Medics with their hands stuck forever in position to hold the nonexistent stretchers lost along the way.

>>Honna wrote: My earliest kid memory is being shy about getting dressed in front of Bozo on TV>>

And I married her anyway! :-)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 10:59 pm:   

>>Later, model cars...built tons of them. Sometimes my brother and I blew them up with firecrackers.>>

Deborah, the editor, blowing stuff up...it finally explains a lot. LOL
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 06:45 am:   

Well, you know, we only blew up the ones that didn't grab us, or didn't fit our needs at the time...plenty of well-built model cars just don't stand out enough...

:-)

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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 12:49 pm:   

We had these little plastic forest animals (deer, squirrels, rabbits, etc.), so we made up stories and had the little animals act them out. They were mostly people stories, not animal ones, so we had some interesting interspecies romance.

I also have fond memories of pickup sticks, even though I was pretty lousy at them.

But the best toy of all was my baby sister. I used to make up stories for us to act out and she would play whatever role I gave her. For example, we would play Zorra (female version of Zorro, for those of you who who haven't gone through life making the action adventure heroes you wanted to be compatible with your gender). I would, of course, play Zorra and fight all the bad guys with my imaginary sword. She would play the deaf mute sidekick. (Note the influence of television.)

Unfortunately, my sister eventually started school and discovered that I didn't run the universe. After that, she stopped doing what I told her and became a torment to me. Childhood was never the same.

Nancy

PS: Nancy Drew books. My girlfriends and I had slumber parties in which we traded off books and all sat around and read. We were about 9 then.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 01:50 pm:   

Yea! Nancy Drew for Nancy! :-)

Add HARDY BOYS to my list. Also the whole series of books: TOM SWIFT AND HIS [add techie item/device here].
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Honna Swenson
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   

I remember the Happy Hollisters. Loved those books! And Nancy Drew and something like--Trixie Belden. Bell? But I always remembered being disappointed when plausible explanations were found for spooky things--like in Scooby Doo. I loved Scooby Doo because of the spook stuff but it was always someone in a mask.

Honna
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 08:44 pm:   

I remember playing Cowboys and Indians as a kid. Cap guns, little pump-action rifles...

I think about it NOW, and I wonder how the heck we got away with that. Guess the PC police kept a low profile in Montana 25 years ago...
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Alan Yee
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 09:55 pm:   

"Well, you know, we only blew up the ones that didn't grab us, or didn't fit our needs at the time...plenty of well-built model cars just don't stand out enough..."

Doesn't that sound awfully similar to what Deborah and the other editors do when they reject stories, lol?
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Alan Yee
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 10:00 pm:   

BTW, Patrick, I live just up the hill from you guys, right between Federal Way and Auburn. I'm glad there's an SF/F magazine so close to home:-)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 10:36 am:   

>>BTW, Patrick, I live just up the hill from you guys, right between Federal Way and Auburn.>>

Howdy, neighbor! Small world. Do you ever make it to any of the local conventions and such? We're usually around for those...
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Alan Yee
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 09:21 pm:   

Sorry, I've never been able to make it to any conventions, since there's usually no one in my family who's willing to spend several hours in the SF world (and they may not be willing to pay so much $).

The only one I was thinking about attending was CascadiaCon NASFIC in early September, which is merely a few days before the new school year starts. I have to admit, though, who in my family would be willing to walk me through busy Seattle?

Are you attending CascadiaCon? Or is it too big for you? I was hoping to meet one of the Atlanta Nights perpetrators (hopefully James "Uncle Jim" Macdonald) while I was there. Are there any free cons that are extremely local?
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 10:54 pm:   

We'll be at CascadiaCon, although we won't have a dealer table. We'll have our stuff for sale in there somewhere, though.

No such thing as a free con, I don't think, unless you're a guest of the convention...

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Honna
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:57 am:   

Alan
It's free if you don't pay! The very first time I was taken to a convention, I just walked around and looked at people and things, and that was fairly entertaining. It's a way of dipping the toe in the water. But of course, I missed out on all the interesting panel discussions, readings, etc.
You mentioned family walking you through busy Seattle and not willing to spend hours in the SF community. . .ever consider going solo or are you in need of their assistance?
Norwescon is fun for people watching, even for those not interested in SF or Fantasy; I've been telling my friends I'm going to drag them along with me one of these times just for the outlandish things you can see just walking down the hallway.
Anyway, it's nice to know a reader is also a neighbor. Hope you can make a con sometime so we can meet you.
Honna
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Alan Yee
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 06:14 pm:   

"... ever consider going solo or are you in need of their assistance?"

-I- don't need their assistance. It's just that... oops, I forgot, I'm only 13. :-) Sorry for not specifying. I'm just not sure my parents would let me, unless they picked me up at a specified time... hey, not a bad idea. Are there any other local cons in early-to-mid-summer to satisfy my wait until CascadiaCon?
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Honna
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 09:59 am:   

Alan
Being 13 explains a lot! :-)
No local cons that I can think of before then. Regarding having them drop you off and pick you up later: you may want to inquire about con regulations. There may be some restrictions re: people under a specific age being without a parent or guardian. Seems like 13 is over that age, but frankly I've never paid attention.
I do know that many cons are tailored for all ages. Good luck in finding out what you need to know. It would be a great experience for you.

Honna
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Alan Yee
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 05:29 pm:   

Thanks, Honna! I'll be sure to check up on the CascadiaCon website.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 09:02 pm:   

I was wondering earlier if you were still a young 'un, Alan. :-)

Another you might think about for next year is Norwescon. They sometimes have a young writers program if you're a budding writer yourself, and that could get you in for free for limited periods. Check out norwescon.org
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Alan Yee
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 02:36 pm:   

"They sometimes have a young writers program if you're a budding writer yourself, and that could get you in for free for limited periods. Check out norwescon.org."

Oh, yes, I'm a writer! Not a very good one yet, but I am devouring all the resources I can on the craft, and planning on a loooong writing-spree once school gets out.

Thanks, I almost forgot Norwescon.

P.S. Hope I haven't taken up too much space on -your- thread.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:37 pm:   

Hi, Alan. You have at least a couple of teachers on this thread regularly. We like young people.

Which for some reason makes me think of the line (Stephen King?), where a horror writer was asked what made him so imaginative, he said, "I have the heart of a child . . . in a jar on my desk."
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Honna Swenson
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 09:03 am:   

>>Which for some reason makes me think of the line (Stephen King?), where a horror writer was asked what made him so imaginative, he said, "I have the heart of a child . . . in a jar on my desk.">>

That's hilarious! I used to have this mis-quote posted on my old computer hutch (when I was into cannibals):
"THERE ARE MANY THINGS YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN"

Ditto Jim, Alan. You're in good hands here with some great teaching minds who've got fantastic insight re: the world of writing. Pick their brains!

Honna
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Alan Yee
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 10:27 am:   

I've already picked lots of people's brains. Not for eating, Jim and Honna, but I learn about others' experiences. To show that I'm an SF/writing buff, I have 50+ SF websites on my Favorites list, and I check them all regularly in at least one long session on a daily basis:-) Does that prove I'm willing to do the work and research for becoming a writer (although I most likely won't be published for a while, more or less)?

However, regarding this thread's actual intent, the youngest one here doesn't exactly remember what he did at age 3. Strange.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 07:41 pm:   

>>To show that I'm an SF/writing buff, I have 50+ SF websites on my Favorites list, and I check them all regularly in at least one long session on a daily basis:-) Does that prove I'm willing to do the work and research for becoming a writer (although I most likely won't be published for a while, more or less)?>>

Times have changed. When I was 13 my apprenticeship for writing was that I was reading all the time. I think at 13 I was deeply into Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein and Asimov, who are sort of the historical all-star team of science fiction. I'd go down to the grocery story every Friday to check the new paperbacks (the sf titles were always on a rotating wire rack), and if I couldn't find anything new, I'd go to the library for anything with one of those little rocketship stickers on the back.

I wasn't writing at all. Oh, yes, on Friday and Saturday night I stayed up to watch SciFiFlix or whatever horror movie that they'd rerun. This was pre-VCR/DVD years.

In 1967, when I was 13, the big sf movie, unfortunately, was BARBELLA, which I wasn't allowed to see. The next year was better, though, when PLANET OF THE APES, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and CHARLY (the movie version of "Flowers for Algernon") came out. STAR TREK was also running on television.

I was also reading ANALOG in 1967. Anne McCaffrey started the PERN series in ANALOG that year. I also read J. G. Ballard's Short Story "The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race" and Harlan Ellison's "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" and "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream." Keith Laumer did "The Last Command" that year, a Bolo story the made me cry.

It was a pretty influential year.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 08:17 am:   

>>Which for some reason makes me think of the line (Stephen King?), where a horror writer was asked what made him so imaginative, he said, "I have the heart of a child . . . in a jar on my desk.">>

You probably heard Stephen King use the line, though in truth, it was originally Robert Bloch's (ever since Bob passed away, the few instances I've encountered where Steve used it, he makes a point of citing Bob).
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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 11:30 am:   

Hey Alan: You might be interested in the Alpha writing workshop -- it's for teenage SF/F writers. Here's a link: Alpha.
You have to wait until you turn 14, but they're already full for this year anyway. It's in Pittsburgh, which is a long way from home for you, but it gets high marks from the people who've done it.

It occurs to me that I have several memories from when I was three, but they all involve my parents telling me about my forthcoming baby sister or brother (turned out to be sister). That is, I have people memories, but not toy memories. And to tell the truth, at this point, I mostly remember that I used to remember these things, rather than remembering the three-year-old stuff directly.

I do remember what I was reading at 13, though, or some of it: Agatha Christie and Rex Stout (an outgrowth of Nancy Drew). And I read Catcher in the Rye then.

Nancy
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 04:28 pm:   

>>I think at 13 I was deeply into Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein and Asimov, who are sort of the historical all-star team of science fiction.>>

You must've been grabbing them from my shelf, Jim! Those are EXACTLY the guys I was reading. Then later faves: PK Dick. Frank Herbert. Pohl. Simak.

Alan, the Pacific Northwest WRiters Conference USED to have a student version of their workshop sometime during the year. Don't know if they still do it, or time, but I bet if you take a peek, google it or something, you'll find out.
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Alan Yee
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2005 - 08:13 am:   

Thanks Patrick!

And yes, Nancy, I am deeply interested in Alpha despite the distance from home, mostly because it's only ten days, as opposed to the standard six weeks at Clarion West.

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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 07:17 pm:   

Nancy...wow, that's pretty young to be reading Catcher in the Rye! :-)

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