A traditional print editor approached me about writing a children's fantasy. I said I would consider it. She was about to be away from the office for a couple of weeks, but would contact me again when she returned. Meanwhile, I got to work on the children's novel, which turned out to be this one: a boy with idle time in the mall while his mother shops explores its central park and finds a path leading beyond the statue of Pandora, the girl who let everything out of the box. He follows it and discovers a magic land. Well, now. He chances on a scooter, the kind you push with your foot, that always coasts downhill, regardless of the direction it's going. I have exactly such a scooter, by no coincidence, minus that appealing magic. I use it to scoot out three quarters of a mile to fetch in our morning newspapers. We live on a tree farm and have a long drive through the forest. He finds a girl about his own age, who turns out to be from China; she found a different path into the park. So this is more than just a local phenomenon. It goes on from there. So what of the editor who asked for this? I never heard from her again. Editors can be like ghosts, fading out without notice after causing authors to waste time. Meanwhile, a teacher read the novel to her classes of that age, and they liked it. It was vetted to remove anything an adult might think was unfit for a child to read, such as a boy calling a female unicorn a horny nag. So it's not as spicy as it was, but should still be fun reading. Naturally the child-vetted novel did not find a publisher, while my other recent children's novel, Tortoise Reform, not vetted, did. Is it any wonder writers become cynical? If you remove anything that might annoy somebody somewhere, you can wind up with tasteless mush. But I think any child would enjoy such a park, and maybe in some big mall there's a path, if you can just find it.