This feels like a holiday. Last night, I finished packaging the dummy for a picture book a fellow writer and I worked on. This morning, it's in the mail, headed for an editor in the publishing hub of America . . . New York, NY. For two months, that art consumed my time and energy. E-mails piled up. Most flat surfaces in my house disappeared under layers of sketches, manuscripts and reference material. My husband, the dogs, the house slipped into a foggy background. This past week, I worked evenings and weekend, determined to push this project to completion.
Yesterday, I finished the paintings for the color sample pages. Then technology stepped in. I ran to the store for ink cartridges and good copy paper. After a quick dinner, I began scanning the pages. The black and white images printed, no problem. The color images presented major frustration. How is the red in my painting perceived as green by the scanner? Several hours later, I was satisfied with one image. I gave up on the other and printed the best my limited techological skills could offer.
Through all this, my husband jumped in to help where he could, loading ink cartridges, researching computer glitches and listening to my wailing over endless stumbles. Last night, at ten, he dashed to Walgreens for a folder to bind the art. It isn't easy living with a writer/artist caught up in creative frenzy. I try to remember that when I'm annoyed at housewifery.
The fog is now clearing. I'm tackling emails with apologies to all. (It isn't easy being a writer/artist's friend either). My novel is screaming, "Neglect!" And I have a new list of needed skills, including learning to calibrate the color on my monitor and scanner. But before I move on, I'll try to honor the work created. We so often charge from one project to another, never stopping to celebrate our accomplishments. It devalues our work. I watch friends squirm when someone compliments their achievements and I know I do the same. So today, I'll say to myself, "Good job."
I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. And creatures, always creatures. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Baggott, Asher & Bode
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Kate DiCamillo on Writing