I’m potentially one day from an editorial meeting that will determine if a new educational proposal with Tim Rasinski will be accepted. If it is, I won’t have that window of time I was expecting until mid-August when I’ll begin work on the book for Shell with Laura Robb and Tim Rasinski. In anticipation of getting the green light, I’ve already begun work on the first of what would be 75 new poems.
If the proposal is accepted, I’ll have very little time for the rest of the year to develop new ideas for trade publishers. The other day Nikki Grimes was relating how she has recently pull some old manuscript out of storage and given them fresh chances to be accepted. Jane Yolen does now and then. So does Sandy Asher and any number of other writers including me. That might be about all I’ll have time for. That’s not altogether bad though. I once sold a book years later to an editor who had turned it down in the first place.
The other item is that I was asked this year to participate in Drury University’s “Match Madness” fund raiser by making a 10 minute video reading from AFTER DARK. It is now posted sometime. If you have young ones in the family or classroom, I hope you’ll check out the site at http://www.Drury.edu/read.
REMINDER: Don’t forget the reading of JESSE AND GRACE tonight. Information was posted yesterday.
I know how I’ll start my day. I planned it before I went to bed, same as always. I’m not sure how it will end though. If either of two possibilities happens, I’ll probably pull off the project I’m on to attend to one of the others because they both have higher priorities (earlier due dates). I was asked during my virtual presentation last Saturday how I work on so many things at once, and this is how. While Tim Rasinski, Mary Jo Fresch, and I wait for word about our counter offer for a contract on two books, I have roughly two weeks to make things happen. Jane Yolen and I are also waiting for a multiple book contract offer from a different publisher and expect word back on that one any day now. For me the trick is to make the most of these little windows that open and close all the time before and after major projects click into place and take my attention for longer periods. I work thirty-five hours a week so I can get quite a bit done but the important thing is to plan how the time will be spent.
On WednesdayJane Yolen and I had a delightful 4-way conversation with two editors at a publisher we respect. We discussed several ideas and got excited about some projects we might develop. Between this initial vision and seeing the result in print there are exactly 5,034,269 steps. I counted them once. But this is where it starts, lighting the long burning fuse that gets us excited enough to say yes to a new adventure and the possibility that one day, 5,034,269 steps from now, we’ll be holding some new books.
Wow. It must be Monday. When I sat down to work at 6:15, I already had a rejection in my e-mail. It’s a whimsical story that may or may not find a home somewhere, and this is only the first time out, but still I wish I’d had my coffee first.
Today I’m working on a science story that I think is good but so far hasn’t found its niche. I’ve pulled it aside to rework by telling it in a different voice. I hate to see a good story go to waste.
My thanks again to the folks at The Library Center in Springfield for putting together, promoting, and hosting the virtual presentation Saturday morning by Jane Yolen and me. It turned out well. During the AFTER DARK segment, kids gave me some sound effects to one poem and we did some echo reading with a couple of others. Jane joined me for the next forty minutes to talk about and read from RUM PUM PUM. All in all, a quick sixty minutes.
On Wednesday Jane and I have a conference call with an editor to discuss options on what we might do for them. Looking forward to that.