That’s right, ladies and gentlemen… after a long (LONG) hiatus, I am back and better than ever. Well, not necessarily better. But I’ll tell you that, anyway. Makes ME feel better. (And this blog is really all about me, isn’t it?)
Ye-GADs, it’s been a while, but, as before with previous hiatuses (is that a word?), I have good reason(s). I have been:
1) Working ferociously on my favorite work-in-progress since spring. And I finally finished it… yippee!! (Disclaimer: I may not be able to keep my tiny little editing fingers away from it forever. Lord knows I have a hard time with just “letting things be.”) But I am in “submit” mode. I’ve already researched several agents and have submitted to four thus far (since yesterday so no word yet, obviously). BTW, this is the WIP that was critiqued, edited and sanctioned by none other than Deborah Halverson of DearEditor.com. She really likes this book. (Did I tell you she’s a genius?)
2) Self-educating (through online courses, videos, books, etc.) to improve my illustration skills. (Side note: I almost wrote “Self-educating myself“… but that would be redundant, wouldn’t it?) And I call myself a writer. HA!
3) Keeping (or trying to keep) my 9-year old fed, watered and generally entertained throughout the summer. (But school is back in session as of last week– YEE-HA!!)
4) Playing tennis. Not as much as in past years, but more than I have in past months. That is, a LOT… and it’s messin’ with my time! (But I play mostly singles and it is great cardio… so there is that. A girl’s gotta exercise.)
And speaking of tennis, I’ve brought this up before but tennis really does have SO many pieces to it that are truly analogous to life. As in that favorite topic that I’ve discussed here before– i.e. this idea that with looseness comes brilliance. Well, maybe not Stephen Hawking-like brilliance… but a kind of brilliance nonetheless.
So I’ve been working on getting looser with my tennis game. I actually tell my limbs to relax and I do a mini-meditation before every point. And you know what? It works. (So much so that I’ve actually gotten to the semi-finals for this one singles league I’m in… whittled down from an overall playoff bracket of 32 that was whittled down from a couple of hundred initial players in early divisions. If I win, I go to City Finals on Saturday!) But I digress… this blog really is about KidLit!
That same looseness has been translating to my writing (and drawing), too. I’ve been training myself to relax and just let the ideas flow… and they’ve been a-flowin’. I’ve written a total of six picture book manuscripts in months past, and have a pipeline of close to 20 ideas, complete with synopses for each. And this summer, during this effort to be loose, I’ve come up with a few more… with no synopses yet, but I do need to polish up the ideas before I do that.
On the illustration front, I’ve fallen in love with the sketchy line. I’m trying to stay away from hard, sharp lines and am discovering illustrators that do that well present such a wonderful emotional quality to their drawings. These artists really make my heart sing. (By the way, for those of you that know that I grew up drawing and started out college as a wannabe artist, I’ve truly come full circle after so many decades and have reignited my passion for drawing. As I told someone recently, I’ve written (books, ads, articles) most of my adult life… but drew the first 20 years of my life. I realize that while I love “having written” (but not necessarily the process of writing), it’s different with drawing, where I love the whole thing– that is, the process as well as the “having drawn.” That’s the difference.
In posts to come, I plan on reviewing more kidlit, showing off my favorite writers and illustrators, and writing about other works-in-progress and the general nonsense of every day life.
Including tennis, most likely. And whether or not I made it to (and won!) City Finals!