Rolling with the unexpected

Hi everyone,

I was right when I said on Monday that this would be a good week. I finished the proposal for ALA by the Tuesday deadline and yesterday I received an invitation to speak at a book festival next year. I’m keeping dates open for the conferences I might like to attend as a speaker in 2020, including Texas Library Association in Houston (March), National Science Teachers Association in Boston (April), American Library Association in Chicago (June), International Literacy Association in Columbus (October), and National Council for Teachers of English in Denver (November). I don’t mean I’ll go to all of them but odds are I’ll make two or three.

This past week I worked on two stories, a fiction picture book that has been in the works for a while and a science picture book that’s been several months taking shape in my mind. I wrote the first few pages of the new one, trying for an elegant prose style, which I rather like so far. But then, for no reason I can explain, a voice speaking in dialect jumped in and wanted to take over the story. I don’t know where the voice came from or what he/she is supposed to be. It almost sounds like I’m channeling a character from The Lion King, maybe the monkey with the staff. Or it could be someone from a book I read somewhere. Or it could be me just fooling around. Whatever is happening, I have felt compelled to write the story twice, once the way I began it and again the way my guest story teller wants to tell it. At this point I know I’ll complete two stories and then decide what to do with them.

5 comments on “Rolling with the unexpected

  1. Isn’t it funny how all it takes is a sudden change of POV to completely alter a story? One of the many reasons I love what we do! And best wishes with all your upcoming projects and speaking engagements, David. Will you be at NCTE this year?

      • Yes! I’ll be presenting a workshop with Laura Purdie Salas, Liz Steinglass, Heidi Mordhorst, and Mary Lee Hahn. This will also be my first NCTE – so I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed! But it’ll be great to see you again.

      • Sounds like a great group, Matt. I’m glad you are going. I’m on the panel that presents the year’s NCTE selections of Notable Books and read some of my poem from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, which is on the 2019-2020 list of Notable Books of Poetry. I’ll see you in Baltimore!

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