I agreed to start another project yesterday, this one with two other poets. As always, beginnings are exciting and filled with anticipation of challenges ahead. We hope to finish the submission draft by the end of May, which seems reasonable. My current manuscripts in process should be finished or at rest by the end of April so whatever work is left on this new one should be doable in a sprint during May.
For now I’m focusing on two other projects especially. Mary Jo Fresch and I are still waiting for teacher and student input for the book we’re doing for Scholastic. During the Children’s Literature Festival, several teachers took my card so I hope to hear from some of them soon. And I’m well into the revisions for my desert story. I started on Monday and have made good progress this week. If the pace continues, I should finish it before the end of April.
Mary Jo Fresch and I have been at work on a book for classroom teachers for quite some time and have finally arrived at a point where we need to work with some teachers who can provide samples of student writing to go in the book. The target audience is grades 3-6 and the subject is about how to help students prepare to write before they start writing. There are a number of good books in the market about finding ideas, drafting, revising, etc. but few give appropriate space to the importance of researching the subject before writing the first word.
Between us we have a list of teachers to turn to for input and we recently sent them an outline of classroom activities they can try with their students and submit the results for our book. Some of them responded to an earlier call for help so we have their comments and samples in hand. One problem we encounter in situations like this is that teachers plan their year in advance and few of them can rearrange their lessons to accommodate folks outside their classrooms. Our deadline to complete this book is the end of this month. Obviously we won’t hit it, but we need to keep moving.
So this is a call for teachers who like the idea of having their names and samples of their students’ work in a Scholastic book and are in a position to work with us on a quick turnaround basis. If you know of other teachers who might have an interest, please share this with them and urge them to get in touch. We’ll gladly forward an outline of the book with specific activities that we’d like to include. We won’t overload anyone. No teacher should need to tackle more than one or two of them.
ANNOUNCEMENT: In case you missed it yesterday, I apologized for failing to change the Word of the Month word for August. The new word is MEN. See what you can do with that. Again, I’m sorry for going to sleep at the wheel this month. Blame it on overload, not my age!
Good week at Goose Lake. I finished a manuscript, which is always a good feeling. Before I went to sleep Sunday night I planned how much I could expect to get done each day this week. I decided that by Wednesday I should be able to sigh and send, and it worked as I’d hoped. This is the manuscript I mentioned recently that began as a collection of poems about one thing and eventually evolved into something quite different. In the end I removed most of the original poems, revised others, and wrote several new ones. Now it’s wait to see.
On Monday the contract arrived from Scholastic for the educational book that Mary Jo Fresch and I proposed. We’re both eager to get back on task. I think we can finish this one sometime during the winter.
Yesterday I received a contract offer from Holiday House for a nonfiction picture book story. I love working with Grace Maccarone so I look forward to that too!
By the way, I thought I had ten signed up for my poetry workshop starting the 21st but one decided not to make it. Anyone want to jump in at the last minute? I love the number ten.
Monday I received an expression of interest by a publisher who would like to bring back a story of mine that went out of print a few months ago. Then I found the angle I needed for a new poetry collection that an editor likes but needs a stronger hook. Yesterday I finished making the changes to the proposal. Ten minutes later I received a note saying that a proposal by Mary Jo Fresch and I for an educational book has been accepted. I also learned that an interview by Highlights Foundation about my upcoming workshop has been posted and that another person has signed up. I don’t know what today might bring but a week that began without an agenda hasn’t disappointed me so far.
Here’s a reminder of why I call this Goose Lake.
They were on my neighbors’ yard last evening. Obviously the neighbors weren’t home!