The two Daves are mostly silent these days, or humming to themselves as they wrap small bright elastic bands round their fingers. Loom bands have now been banned from their school (they were proving too much of a “distraction”) but still they weave that elastic into stretchy little bracelets. I’m pleased. Makes a change from all that sport. Stevanovich thinks it’s “girly girly” and is disgusted. The Daves think Stevanovich has got issues.
The loom bands craze has made me yearn to go back into my first novel. I want Raff, the fictional younger brother, to make loom bands endlessly, for his wrists to be festooned with them. I want him to do swaps with the other kids, surreptitiously, a playground black market, because the fictional school would have banned loom bands too. I want his to all get stolen, and for him to be desperate for money to buy more of them. I want his big brother Jonah to tell him no way are they wasting money on elastic bands.
My two fictional brothers are heavily based on the Daves, of course. As I wrote, though, the Daves grew and changed. The novel took about two years to write. At the beginning, Jonah and Raff were about six and eight, but by the end, even though the story happens over only five days, they had become eight and ten. Every time the Daves come up with something new, I want to go back in and insert it. Raff says, “Oh My Days!” a lot, because that’s what Dave 2 used to say. But now Dave 2 says “Sick”, which is much cooler. Dave 2 and his friends used to accuse each other of having “allergies” (“You’ve got allergies, get away from me!”). I slipped the allergies accusation into a classroom scene; but now they accuse each other of having “issues”, which I like even more.
So maybe I’ll set Novel Number 2 in the past, by at least a few years. Apart from if I go for the time travel idea, which will happen mainly in the future.
Dave 1 is now teaching Stevanovich to make loom bands. Stevanovich has become interested from a business point of view. “You guys pay £1 for some rubber bands? OK, be quiet, I need to think about this.”
“Ninety seven pence actually.”
“Be quiet! I need to think very hard.”
How do these playground crazes start? Obviously conkers are seasonal, and free. But all the ones that involve buying small plastic or cardboard things from the local shop? Is there a team in a room somewhere, probably on top of a skyscraper, dreaming up the next playground craze? Exactly how much money has been made to date on loom bands? How is Stevanovich going to cash in?