A first grandchild…being a nanny granny…buying a new home…renovating our new home…a sickness in the family…getting our old home ready to put on the market…moving thousands of books from our old home to our new place…selling old home…setting things up at new home…buying some new furniture and window treatments…decorating new place…settling in…writing for legal/political blogs…a death in the family…being a nanny granny...a second grandchild.
|Allison & Julia|
For sure, being a nanny granny for over three years has taken up quite a bit of my time. After the birth of my second grandchild Allison Mary in March, my daughter and then my son-in-law took family leave to care for her. I decided that I would use my free time during those four months to concentrate my energies on writing poetry for children once again. After getting back into the poetry writing groove, I realized how much I missed being part of Poetry Friday and the kidlitosphere.
I also know how long it can take to get a picture book published. Things to Do, my first collection of poems, will be five years in the making! I sold the manuscript in 2011…and the book won’t be published until the fall of 2016.
Why so long? First, it took several months for me to edit, revise, and write new poems for my book. The published book will be quite different from the manuscript that Chronicle Books bought. I am really happy about that now. Melissa Manlove, my wonderful editor, had a vision for the book that was more attuned to my original manuscript. I had added poems to my collection in hopes that it would be more attractive to book editors. (That story is for another day.) Melissa asked me to remove most of the poems that I had added.
Second, it took about eighteen months to find an illustrator for Things to Do. Some artists were busy with other projects; some turned down the opportunity to illustrate my poems. Then one day, Melissa sent me links to the websites of four illustrators—and asked if I like their work. The work of one of those artists, Catia Chien, stood out in my eyes. I fell in love with her work—and hoped with all my heart that she’d be able to illustrate my book. I was SO HAPPY when Melissa told me that Catia had accepted the job.
I can't wait until I see my poems in a book illustrated by Catia!
Here are some of the books that Catia has illustrated:
Clink here to view three of the illustrations that Catia created for my book Things to Do.