Back to work and enjoying it. Today I’ll focus on a new idea I started developing shortly before I left for Pennsylvania. One of the editors I talked to in New York expressed an interest in seeing samples. I have about two weeks before Mary Jo Fresch and I will tackle the educational book with Scholastic so there’s just enough time to bring the new idea along to a point where I can submit something. Funny how these things work out most of the time. As a result of the trip I have a list of eight ideas I’ll try over the coming months, or years, depending on what else comes along. It includes three nonfiction picture books, two poetry picture books, and three novels. That’s in addition to five books under contract and nine others that I’m currently working on or sending around. I think I have enough work to last a while.
Speaking of novels, my first one, with a rainforest setting, is finished and I’m looking for readers who live or have lived in that part of the world who can verify that I have my facts straight. My daughter-in-law Jennifer Harrison is helping me. Thank you, Jennifer! She has located a woman who now lives in Spain but speaks no English. Jennifer has offered to translate if I want to send a few basic questions. She also found a man in Columbia who knows the area and is willing to read the whole story when he has time. There may be another contact or two.
So off we go. Thanks for coming by.
It’s always good to be home. Yesterday we packed, left our bags in storage at the hotel, had breakfast at the Stage Door Deli, walked to Central Park, and relaxed on a bench for a while. Then we were on our way home. Walked through the door at 7:45 last night.
It was a good trip. The workshop went well and we kept busy in NYC taking in the sights. My day with editors was productive and, as always, invigorating. I came home with a head full of ideas and can’t wait to get started. I probably won’t return to New York until next fall but return I will.
And so here I am, back at the keyboard in my office. I managed to get five poems roughed in during the flights yesterday so I may go back to them today to see if any are worth finishing. First I’ll clean up the e-mails that came in faster than I could read, respond to, and clear. It’s going to be a busy morning. Can’t wait!
Saw Fiddler on the Roof last night and loved it all over again. Tonight it’s a toss up between Cats and taking a harbor cruise. We went to the Whitney Museum yesterday. Liked some of it but our taste in art runs more to the traditional. Glad we went though. A Vanderbilt started it, which I didn’t know.
I just remembered a fourth time when we bumped into someone we knew here. My silliest New York story happened years ago when Sandy and I were seated at a sidewalk café here on this corner. The tables are gone now but we enjoyed eating there and watching people go by. At our backs was a rather tall apartment building. This one. Halfway through our meal an object was thrown or fell from a window in one of the apartment units above us and hit the umbrella beside us with a startling sound. Luckily that table was empty. The object knocked the umbrella askew and landed with a rubbery thud on the concrete.
When the waitresses realized what it was, they giggled, threw a napkin over it, and rushed off carrying it to the kitchen. Sandy and I looked around at all the other tables and not a single person was paying attention or acting like what we had just witnessed was out of the ordinary. Just another New York moment.