I’ve been working like crazy lately on a revision for the editor of my first book. I’m simultaneously blown by away by how much work she’s asking me to do AND by how much better it’s going to make the book. Most of her comments feel so utterly, obviously right–AFTER I’ve read them–that I’m left wondering why I didn’t think of them myself. (I’m also left wondering why she ever bought the book in the first place, but in that way lies madness, so let’s not go there, okay?) I thought I had given everything I had to this book, thought there was nothing more I could do, but now I realize how lazy I’d actually been. A few days ago, Mitali Perkins wrote about being grateful for traditional editors. I couldn’t agree more. The process is not only making a better book, but making a better writer. That’s not to say there hasn’t been some gnashing of teeth, banging of head on desk, and wine and chocolate binges, of course. And I’ll be over-the-moon happy when I think I’m finally done. But it’s getting there. I think I can see what it might one day be, and it sure feels good.
As soon as I wrap up the big revision I’m looking forward to fully jumping into two more exciting activities! First, I’m thrilled to be judging the Non-Fiction Picture Books category of the Cybils again this year. We have just over 100 nominations to read. I’ve had a slow start given the revision, but hope to be picking up steam soon. I’m maxing out my check-out limit at the library and building huge stacks of beautiful books to indulge in. What could be better?
And, I’m also attempting to do agency-sister Tara Lazar‘s Picture Book Idea Month (or PiBoIdMo). The goal is 30 picture-book ideas in the 30 days of November. I had a great big bunch of them right before the challenge officially started, and today, on the first official day, I had two more (and I even fully drafted out one of them–WOOT!). This is a fun challenge with a ton of support and camaraderie for all levels, and I can’t wait to see what else comes out of it.