My writing week #16

On any writing journey, a writer is bound to come across delays, hurdles, roadblocks and detours. This week was one of detours.

Instead of working on the novel, I’ve been working on two children’s picture books. I’m excited to announce that one, My Silly Mum, has been accepted for publication by Serenity Press. Even more exciting – the illustrator, Veronica Rooke from Fishbitten, is already working on the project! It’s only been a week since we agreed to go ahead and already many emails have passed between us, discussing character concepts. Veronica will be working on a storyboard for the next few weeks. Watch out for a blog post that explains the process in more detail – I’m in a privileged position of being able to work closely with the illustrator.

A bit of background about the story – I wrote it in 2005 and saved it. And that was it until last week. Told from a child’s point of view, the My Silly Mum is a light-hearted look at some of the silly things mothers do, from forgetting names to telling bad jokes. It’s based on my experiences as a mother, and some of the things my own mother did. I hope I don’t get in trouble.

This experience inspired me to revisit a children’s picture book I wrote in 2003, submitted to a publisher … and no surprise, it was rejected. Back then, I couldn’t see why. I had a little cry, stuffed the manuscript in a drawer, and ignored it until last week. Looking at the original version, I can see why it was rejected – it simply wasn’t ready. It’s a good feeling as a writer to have that awareness. Not doubt. Not perfectionism. Just the instinctive knowledge that there was work to be done. So, I’ve been rewriting my story about a little girl and her cold toes … and fingers crossed, that story will finally find a shelf, rather than a drawer, to live on. It’s at this point I have to thank children’s author Teena Raffa-Mulligan for her expert guidance (as well as encouragement).

Last week I also proofread my short romance, The Point of Love, which is off to the printer for the February 14 release. More info on that here.

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As for my novel, I haven’t forgotten it. I’ve been using daily writing prompts to write potential scenes or character studies. Back to that soon.

The following photos were taken a few years ago, but they reminded me of myself as an emerging fiction writer, and my lovely mentor, Teena. She’s been a mother duck to me in more ways than one.

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Sometimes we have to set aside our fear and dive in.

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And soon we’ll be swimming …

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But there’ll always be mentors and writing friends close by.

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Have a good writing week.