Friday, July 25, 2008

Preparation... and not H!

I was in my daughter's room two days ago and we came across a little book that was given to me as a high school graduation gift by my best friend. It's a cute little board book about two inches by two inches. It's called Lowly Worm Word Book by Richard Scarry. I know, I know. You're wondering, "Why did you get THAT for your graduation? Did you go to a special school?" I assure you I went to a normal high school- as normal as it gets way out in the Mississippi sticks. But back in high school, my friends, my sister and I thought things like this little book were funny and we spent hours laughing and making fun of them.

My daughter and I read the book and then decided that it should be kept on my desk instead of thrown in a drawer in her room. Yesterday morning I sat at the computer staring at the blank screen trying to figure out what I should write. After about an hour of wasted time, I decided to read through some of my favorite websites and blogs instead. When I got to my "Writer's Guidelines" link, I clicked on one children's magazine that has been on my "I can and should do this" list for the past month. But this time, it was different. The site hadn't changed, but with Lowly Worm looking at me with his goofy little hat and one sneaker (that I've always wondered how he managed to tie), the gears in my mind started reeling! I couldn't slow the ideas down long enough to even remember most of them!

I picked up my mini book and headed into the other room with a notebook and pen in hand! (Sometimes, I find that I work better 'old school.') I wasn't writing a Richard Scarry or Lowly Worm related book, but my hand could hardly keep up with all the ideas for poems and short stories for children that Lowly had inspired. After an hour sitting at my dining room table, I had written about four book ideas and compiled four pages of lists. The lists were of rhyming word groups (to speed up the writing process).

Children... I love! They've been my life and my job for fifteen years. Children's literature... I know! I have an extensive collection in my home and I'm always finding new favorites to read/buy. And children's books... I can definitely write!

Now that I'm prepared, motivated, and overflowing with ideas, it's time to write!


Natalie said...

Congrats! That is a very good feeling to have ideas all over the place.

Go write!

Never Settle said...

Thanks! I'm so excited! They won't have illustrations, but I can maybe let you preview them with your children when I am done writing. They can be my 'test market.' ;)

Kiersten said...

I don't know how much you've researched, but actually with children's books editors don't like you to have your own illustrations--that's their job. They just want text, unless you're primarily an artist, doing an art-based book with very little text.

I'm a well-spring of useless (or at least, unused) information, if you're ever curious.

AND--how fun! Don't you love it when inspiration strikes?

Never Settle said...

I have learned to only send what is asked for. You're right about them only wanting text. Most have seasoned artists that they work with and won't even consider new art/artists at all.

And heck yes, I'm excited about the flood of inspiration! I've always been an emotional writer, so it's great now that I'm learning to dig deeper and find inspiration outside of life's joys and sorrows.

I'm happy to learn that you're a well-spring of (as of yet) unused information.