Kid Lit Dish

Kim's Magical Journey Into the World of Children's Picture Books

“Bling!”

I’ve finally started character sketches this week for my manuscript that’s currently out on submission. This book has been a work-in-progress for almost one year!

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Here are a couple of iterations. I like the second one more because it’s more whimsical (much like the character), but she does look a bit older than I had intended. ( The girl’s supposed to be 7-8, but feedback is telling me she looks more like 10!) So back to the drawing board, so to speak!

The other one reminds me of a doll. Or a Colorforms character. (Remember those?)

This girl’s getting her gemstones on… her hair, that is. Hence the “BLING!”

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On the Cusp

girl3I feel like every time I start a new blog post, I’m leading with the words, “It’s been eons since I’ve posted…”

And although, yes, it HAS been a long time, I’m bound and determined NOT to start this post that way here! As always (and as it is with MOST of you), life is just full right now. That, combined with the fact that the older I get, the faster days fly by, makes for getting less done in longer amounts of time. After all, a day now compared to a day when I was 20… well, there’s no comparison. I only wish I knew the things then that I know now–I would have been quite the prolific kid lit writer!

However, I have to say I’m not doing too badly. When I look at my “WIPS” (Works in Progress) file folder on m desktop, I currently have several versions of ten different “current” manuscripts. Two, maybe three, of those are pretty much done. And one  has been submitted to about eighteen agents, four of whom have actually expressed interest in it and would like to see other things I’ve written.   (This is why I have been busy revising and rewriting a couple of other stories I feel are close.) I have to give a big shout-out to my critique group (we call ourselves “Trail Mix”) here–best critique group EVER!  TRAIL MIX PHOTO

In case you don’t know what makes a great critique group, here’s my short list: 1) Always encouraging, 2) Honest (though kind), 3) Fun to hang out with. This also applies to my friend and picture book author Linda Lodding (who just signed a two-book deal with Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky for her latest work, which I was lucky enough to see–and LOVE–before she even submitted it!) I am blessed that she has always been there to give me fantastic and helpful feedback on everything I’ve sent her. How lucky am I?

In between it all, I’m also on an editing contract with Kaplan Education’s IT Learning center, and I write freelance articles and marketing pieces for a forensics biotech company. (That’s right– from kid lit to technology and DNA. Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous!)

I’m also taking illustration courses through Will Terry’s Folio Academy the School of Visual Storytelling,  and, of course, Mark Mitchell’s Make Your Splashes – Make Your Marks. It’s all good. And I’ve joined 12 x 12 this year–my first time ever. (I got it done in January–I revised a manuscript and wrote a brand new one. This is what we have to do each and every month!)

Next month, I return to my regional SCBWI chapter’s spring conference, where I’ll get one of my books critiqued. I hope to have completed a dummy of one of my WIPs by then. I also hope to attend a Highlights workshop this summer.

This is not a post to say how busy I am… it’s really meant to be more of a “hey, you aren’t doing too badly” motivational pep talk to myself. Not that I really need much motivation. I love, love, LOVE kid lit and, especially, picture books. I always have and I expect I always will. I feel for the first time ever that I am doing what I have always been meant to do. (I only wish I knew this twenty years ago!)

Ah well. I DO feel that I am right on the cusp, the verge, of some kind of a breakthrough. Not necessarily that I’ll get published or get an agent anytime soon… but something related to all of this. It feels like some things are just falling into place. So I hope to be able to post an update here very soon to let you know that I was right!

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Design Of The Picture Book

Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.

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