Friday, August 06, 2004

I have a new manuscript and I'm not even sure what it is--picture book or magazine story--though I'm hoping it could be a picture book. And I have no idea what to do with it. I went to the bookstore last night and spent at least an hour looking through the picture books, but found it all pretty disheartening. I couldn't find many that were similar to my picture book manuscripts at all, and also couldn't find many books by the particular publishers I was interested in, other than some classics and a few other books that were completely different from mine in tone and style. The ones that appealed to me most were mostly from publishers that don't take unsolicited submissions. And I didn't see any books from my local or online writer friends who have published picture books. Yet there are, quite frankly, a great many books on the shelves that I'd have no interest in buying for my own young kids. I did find one that cracked me up, Alison McGhee's Countdown to Kindergarten (maybe I just liked the author's name, LOL!), and got that for my son who's starting kindergarten in 11 days. Most books for soon-to-be-kindergarteners don't apply well to a child who has been in preschool for years, can already read & do math, etc., but this hilarious story of a girl who is panicked because she can't tie her shoes seemed like a good match for him. (He cracked up about the line "shoes are not canoes," and I find the art by Harry Bliss to be hysterical!) Anyway, maybe I should just stick to longer fiction, but I have these stories that come to me, so I'd like to do something with them!

And speaking of longer fiction, I also had a new idea for a novel while lying in bed the other night trying to fall asleep. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like getting up to write down the great opening lines I came up with (I normally keep paper and a light-up pen on my nightstand, but alas, they were not to be found...), and the lines are gone now. I recall the title and the vague idea for the novel, but I think I'd developed it a bit further in my head and now I don't have much to go on. I'll have to brainstorm some more, as I think it could be kind of powerful, but it would be more experimental and difficult than most of the novels I've tried writing! It's not like I need another novel idea when I already have about 8 on the back burner waiting to be written (or completed), but there it is. Maybe I'll save it for National Novel Writing Month this November, assuming I'll be able to participate this year!

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