Josephine's Dream Reading

Josephine's Dream Reading
Trying to look like Josephine Baker - and failing miserably!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Conquering the Beast

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Re-discovering Your Stories

I think I forgot to mention my re-discovered 'novel.' This experience illustrates the importance of putting something away and then looking at it much later in order to see it with fresh eyes. About ten years ago I wrote a short novel for children that I thought was pretty good. I sent it to a publisher but they didn't receive it! I sent it again, but whether they received it or not I never knew, because each time I asked them, "did it arrive yet?" my request was met with silence. Naturally I began to have a bad feeling about this novel. Perhaps it wasn't worthy after all. Well, a decade flew by and ... I read it again a few weeks ago and, not only was I dazzled by my own wit and brilliance, I merely needed to make a couple of small changes to the text. Then, with soaring hopes, I sent away two chapters to a publisher. Even though I have heard nothing yet, and even though it might be rejected, or (much better) accepted but requiring some 'work,' or (better yet) accepted with the proviso, "Don't change a thing. It's perfect," I feel very good about the quality of writing.
My advice? Dig up your old stories and look at them as if someone else had written them. I know, I've said this before. I'm saying it again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A New Book on the Horizon - AND a royalty cheque!!!

The life of a writer is always exciting and full of suspense. Last week I received a Royalty Cheque in the mail. With eager little fingers I ripped open the envelope, unfolded the cheque within and looked in the right hand box. One hundred and twenty five smackeroos. I guess it hasn't been a big year for those two particular books. No, I will not be giving up my day job to spend the rest of my life writing or travelling around the world promoting my works, but I was able to buy a few more groceries.
Another piece of good news is that I am on the verge of signing a book contract. The story in question was actually published a few years ago in a wonderful children's magazine (I think that looks a bit ambiguous, doesn't it? Is it the children or the magazine who are wonderful? You decide.) A publisher wants to transform the story into a picture book, after I've lengthened the narrative and made a few changes. Sounds good to me. But don't think I've abandoned my smuggler story or my highwayman tale. They are still there lurking about on my desk and in my computer.
I am also still in the process of moving house. This is a mammoth task. I throw out 'stuff' but more 'stuff' falls out of drawers and cupboards. I've been watching a tv reality show about people who hoard and collect everything they can find. I do this in order to frighten myself into not becoming one of those people.
On the other hand, like everything else, it could very well be material for a story, couldn't it?