Summertime means great disruption for many writers -- kids home, vacations, camps, endless driving. Summertime in the Ford household is bliss (mostly, when the kids aren't fighting). We're all on summer vacation! While many writers struggle to maintain a normal schedule over the summer, summer is the time when I find my groove. I can carve out writing time nearly every day -- often on the deck or even at the community pool (yay).
Last summer I took a great novel workshop; this summer I'm taking an equally great picture book writing class. In addition to the end of the semester, this year the beginning of summer coincided with a day-job change for me. Suddenly I have actual spare time -- time to read, time to exercise. I wish it would never end!
My daughter, lapping me in the page count department, is currently writing an "American Girl" book -- the doll's name is Lilly, and she is primarily preoccupied with playing with her "nextstore nabor." So far we have managed to avoid purchasing an actual doll. Please wish me luck on that front.
What the Fords are reading this week:
The Tale of Desperaux
The Secret Garden
Baseball Mouse by Syd Hoff
Signed by Zelda by Kate Feiffer
Dumpling Days by Grace Lin
Happy reading and writing to all! --Jeanne Marie
In my picture book writing class, I've noted that many, many ideas stem directly from real life. A simple, single incident, after all, can be transformed into a whole book.
Coincidentally, my daughter just found a little notebook given to me by the wonderful Phyllis Harris. It was made for the express purpose of recording the crazy things my kids said. I had, sadly, let my trasncription duties lapse, but I was hugely amused by what I'd recorded and forgotten. So was my daughter. This exercise is a spin on the traditional writing journal... If you have kids -- write down what they say. It could be a gold mine someday. At the very least, you will preserve some priceless memories forever.